White House to Congress: Help Israel, Bomb Syria

Politico says senior administration officials are citing Israel's defense to convince congressmen on Syria strike.

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The administration of Barack Obama is convincing congressmen to support a strike against Syria by saying that it will help protect Israel, reports Politico.

“Israel’s enemies, including Iran and the terrorist group Hezbollah, could be emboldened if Congress fails to approve action against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, senior administration officials said Saturday,” it reported.

Secretary of State John Kerry also referred to Israel repeatedly as he appeared on all five major Sunday morning news shows — as well as comparing Assad to Adolf Hitler.

“I think the stakes of upholding the international standard of behavior that has been in place since 1925, after World War I, that only Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein have breached that in time of war since then, and now Assad joins them, I think to contemplate that the Congress of the United States would turn its back on Israel, on Jordan, on Turkey, on our allies in the region, turn its back on innocent Syrian people who have been slaughtered by this gas and those who yet may be subject to an attack, … I can’t contemplate that the Congress would turn its back on all of that responsibility and the fact that we would have in fact granted impunity to a ruthless dictator to continue to gas his people,” Kerry told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace.

President Obama referred to Israel in his Rose Garden address, saying that leaving the use of chemical weapons by Assad “endangers our friends and our partners along Syria’s borders, including Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq.” He repeated this message on Sunday, too.

The senior administration officials who spoke to Politico “left little doubt that Israel would be a point of emphasis in private discussions with members of Congress.”

While Israel's official position on the possible intervention in Syria is a neutral one, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reportedly would very much like to see a limited US strike in Syria, which would bring back credible US deterrence to the region.