Israel Calls Up Reserves as Syria Bubbles

But its lobbyists are noticeably quiet

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 28, 2013 2:45 PM CDT

(Newser) – With a Western strike on Syria looking more likely by the hour, Israel mobilized some of its reservists and beefed up its missile defenses today, Reuters reports. But apart from that move, the country seemed strangely nonplussed by the furor surrounding its neighbor and longtime enemy. "Following a security assessment held today, there is no reason for a change to normal routines," Benjamin Netanyahu said. He said Israel wanted to stay out of Syria's war but was "preparing for any scenario."

Israel's lobbyists in Washington have also been surprisingly quiet, Politico observes, even though the Obama administration would dearly like to see them drum up support for action in a reluctant Congress. Many veteran lobbyists privately say they feel stung by the criticism they took for supporting the Iraq war. Other insiders say the groups are mirroring Israel's caution. "They don't want this to be seen as a Jewish or Israel war," says one activist, adding that "there are some real issues with the rebels here."

Israeli soldiers work on their tank near the border with Syria on the Golan Heights, July 16, 2013.
Israeli soldiers work on their tank near the border with Syria on the Golan Heights, July 16, 2013.   (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
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