Israel's Covert Diplomacy in Lebanon by Kirsten E. Schultze

By Kirsten E. Schultze

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The Idea of an Alliance 15 other non-Muslim minorities in the Middle East. The Jewish community in Palestine was thus seen as a natural ally against the threat of Islam. For this group the survival and independence of its Christian and non-Arab identity was of utmost importance. Thus it can easily be understood, that they had an active interest in the creation of a Jewish state. The second group's view of themselves as a minority was the direct opposite of advocating minority-alliance. They believed that the presence of another non-Muslim minority would make their own differences more prominent in the eyes of the Muslim majority.

39 Communications with Israel continued with the first direct IsraeliKataib contact in the autumn of 1948. This contact marked a shift from supporting Maronite propaganda efforts in the US to possible political-military cooperation, despite the fact that there was no consensus within the intelligence community as to whether the Christians would start the revolt they kept on mentioning. In October 1948, Rababi met with Ruffer and Arazi in Paris. 40 The Foreign Ministry's position on this subject, however, had already been decided: the frequently mentioned revolt was unrealistic at this point in time.

It would give the opposition forces the possibility to stage a rebellion. 25 Rababi was the Kataib's second most senior politician and also the editor-in-chief of the Kataib newspaper Al-Amal. The Israelis, however, were not convinced of the capacity of the Maronites to put such a plan into action. According to the director of the Foreign Ministry's Political Division Reuven Shiloah, a reliable source had reported that 'the political situation in Lebanon is very unclear ... does not believe that the Christians are capable of bringing about a revolution, noting that they are too indifferent to carry out a revolution'.

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