Israeli Support For Gaza Withdrawal Plan Drops To 54%
May 9, 2005

Sharon Stops Arab
Prisoner Release

New York – The New York Times reported today that an Israeli opinion poll “on Friday put support for Sharon’s plan to pull out of Gaza at 54% down from 61% three weeks ago.” The pull-quote of the New York Times article was “Support fades for Sharon’s Plan to Withdraw from Gaza.” This slim majority is especially remarkable in light of the fact that the Sharon government and the Labor Party and virtually the entire Israeli media (which is overwhelmingly left-wing) strongly supports this Gaza plan on a daily basis.

“It should be no surprise that support is weakening,” said Zionist Organization of America President Morton A. Klein, “The Israelis see that Hamas has gained power among the Palestinians, in large part because of their claim that the Gaza withdrawal and deportation of 9000 Jews is due to Hamas’ ‘armed struggle.’ (They won almost 40% of seats in recent Palestinian election.)

“This is especially frightening in light of the fact that the Nazi-like Hamas charter calls for the ‘obliteration of Israel’ and the ‘murder of Jews.’ Many Israelis now fear a Hamas terror state is slowly evolving in Gaza. In fact, Israel’s Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said today, “It seems to me unreasonable to move forward with the implementation of the Gaza disengagement plan as if nothing had happened and hand over the territories only for Hamas to create there a ‘Hamastan’.” (Ha’aretz 05/09/05)

The Israelis also see that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has not disarmed or dismantled the terror groups or ended the indoctrination of hatred against Israel. The Israelis see that the Kassam and even stronger missiles continue to be launched against Israeli cities, while PA Chief Mahmoud Abbas does nothing. The Israelis see that numerous Israeli military leaders recently testified before the Knesset stating that the Palestinians are planning a major terror war in Judea and Samaria as soon as the Gaza withdrawal is completed. These military men include outgoing military Chief of the Israel Defense Forces General Moshe Ya’alon, Israeli Military Intelligence Chief Aharon Farkash, and Lt. Col. Itamar Ya’ar, Deputy Chair National Security Council. In fact the army is preparing for this new terror war under the code name ‘End of Summer.’

The Israelis have also seen Israeli Minister Natan Sharansky resign his post last week firmly stating ‘I oppose the disengagement plan which is a tragic mistake that will exacerbate the conflict with the Palestinians, increase terrorism, and dim the prospects of forging a genuine peace….Alongside my concerns, about the dangers entailed in a unilateral disengagement from Gaza, I am even more concerned about how the government’s approach to disengagement is dividing Israeli society. We are heading toward a terrible rift in the nation and to my great chagrin; I feel that the government is making no serious effort to prevent it.’

Also more Israelis have become aware of the forgotten fact of Israel’s ‘disengagement’ from 88% of Gaza under PM Yitchak Rabin in 1994. Today Israel is withdrawing from only 12% of Gaza where 9000 Jews and 2000 Arabs live.

“In addition to all this, more and more Israelis are becoming aware that the Israeli government has not adequately prepared for this enormous undertaking with respect to housing, compensation, and security.”

Other problems are complicating the Gaza issue. It was announced today by the Sharon government that because of the continuing lack of anti-terror action by the PA, there will be an end to Arab prisoner releases. An Israeli official said, “Let it be clear, there will be no prisoner release before steps are taken against terror.” Sharon himself added, “Everyone asks me to strengthen Abu Mazen, but I tell them, not at the expense of Israeli lives.” On Sunday Minister Benjamin Netanyahu added, “When they are launching mortars at Sederot and placing bombs on fences, and shooting at Israeli civilians and Abu Mazen doesn’t lift a finger, I think it is not the time to release prisoners.”

Sharon has also “frozen the transfer of three towns in the West Bank to PA security control, contending that in the two towns handed over, Jericho and Tulkarm, the PA has not lived up to its promise to disarm wanted militants.” (New York Times, 5/9/05)

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