The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

September 2, 2013

With eye on Iran, Israelis seek U.S. action in Syria

(Continued)

Israeli lawmaker Nachman Shai said American credibility was on the line since Obama long ago said that Syria's use of chemical weapons was a "red line" that could not be crossed. Similarly, Obama has promised Israel that he will never allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.

"We are watching America carefully. We rely on America on all fields of life, especially now when it comes to Iran," said Shai, a former chief military spokesman who now sits on parliament's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. "We need to know that on D-Day we have America next to us."

Shai, a member of the opposition Labor Party, nonetheless praised Netanyahu's handling of the crisis so far. While Israel has a clear interest in how America responds in Syria, he said it is essential Israel avoid any perception of interfering in American decision-making.

Israel has not taken sides in the Syrian conflict, and Shai said it has no interest in doing so now. He said any American attack should deliver a "strong message" to Assad but should not seek to change the course of the fighting or oust the Syrian leader.

If Israel could be guaranteed that Assad would be replaced by a stable government that controlled the entire territory and the myriad of groups operating within it, it may be inclined to wish for his ouster, Eran said. But even though Syria and Israel are bitter enemies, the Assad family has kept the Israel front quiet for nearly all of the past 40 years — and many Israelis view Assad, a known quantity, as preferable to the Islamist factions, some of which are affiliated with al-Qaida, trying to oust him.

"It's hard to identify who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. Probably they are all bad guys," Shai said. "The interest of Israel is that no one will attack Israel and we will not be involved in any way."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • 1 hurt in fiery Twin Cities interstate crash ROSEVILLE, Minn. (AP) — Authorities say one person was hurt in a fiery crash involving four vehicles on a Twin Cities interstate. The crash on Interstate 35 brought morning traffic to a halt during a rainy commute. The Minnesota State Patrol says a

    July 25, 2014

  • Black box found at Air Algerie wreckage site PARIS (AP) — French soldiers recovered a black box from the Air Algerie wreckage site in a desolate region of restive northern Mali on Friday, officials said. Terrorism hasn't been ruled out as a cause, although officials say the most likely reason f

    July 25, 2014

  • Ukraine reports overnight rebel attacks on border MOSCOW (AP) — The Ukrainian army on Friday claimed that soldiers came under artillery fire from the Russian side of the border overnight and were attacked by rebels in several other places in the restive east. Ukrainian forces are trying to close in

    July 25, 2014

  • Deal still elusive for Gaza cease-fire CAIRO (AP) — Turbulent negotiations to broker a temporary truce in the Gaza Strip are continuing against the backdrop of fresh Israeli attacks on Palestinian militants. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met twice Friday in Cairo with U.N. chief Ban

    July 25, 2014

  • Transcript shows concerns during Arizona execution FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) — U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake was attending a ceremony for a judicial colleague when he received an urgent — and unusual — request: Lawyers for a condemned inmate wanted him to stop an execution that didn't seem to be workin

    July 25, 2014

  • Sniper-Author-Ventura [Duplicate] Day 3 of deliberations ends in Ventura lawsuit Jury has deliberated 19 hours

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man accused of stealing from group HASTINGS (AP) — An Apple Valley man is charged with five counts of theft for allegedly stealing more than $113,000 from a Rosemount youth athletics group. Sixty-two-year-old Robert Steven Reischauer was the former finance manager of the Rosemount Ar

    July 24, 2014

  • Sanders offers lower-cost bill to reform VA Bill would allow vets to go to private doctors

    July 24, 2014

  • Wetland Loss [Duplicate] Report says Prairie Pothole region losing wetlands BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Federal officials and conservationists say a recent report detailing wetland losses in the five-state Prairie Pothole Region over the past decade highlights the need for increased protection for the region that provides breeding

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • France: Air Algerie flight vanishes over N Mali ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital disappeared from radar early Thursday over northern Mali, the plane's owner and a French government official said. Air navigation services lost

    July 24, 2014