New York – In a Congressional hearing yesterday, chaired by U.S. Cong. Christopher Shays (R-CT), Natan Sharansky, former Israeli Minister of Diaspora Affairs, said that “any Israeli concession as part of the Road Map, including the Gaza withdrawal, should be contingent on dismantling the terror groups, ending incitement in the schools and media, and real democratic reforms”
Sharansky expressed concern over making the same mistakes as were made during Oslo, saying “The big mistake of Oslo was the idea that if we strengthen Arafat, it will bring us stability We must link the Palestinian Authority compliance with the Road Map to concessions and funding of Palestinians and make it clear that the PA needs to struggle against terrorism, not simply promote a cease-fire and that their system of education cannot be used to promote incitement and terrorist activities.”
Zionist Organization of America’s President Morton A. Klein said, “Because Israel has so many critical issues confronting them with the Palestinian Arabs, i.e. refugees, Judea and Samaria lands and the Jewish communities there, Jerusalem, water, etc., it makes no sense to take a major concession like removing Jews from Gush Katif/Gaza off the table for nothing. I’m saying this simply as a negotiating strategy. Besides the humanitarian, historical and religious issues, leaving the 12% of the Jewish section of Gaza (88% was given away by Rabin in 1994) will reward terrorism.
The ZOA is not alone in this belief. The chiefs of the IDF, Military intelligence and Shin Bet, as well as the Knesset Speaker, Natan Sharansky, Shlomo Gazit and Moshe Arens all publicly proclaim that leaving Gaza rewards terror and will encourage more terror. In fact, Hamas and other terror groups now have regular rallies proclaiming the success of their armed struggle, in forcing Israel to evacuate the Jewish section of Gaza. Any discussion of leaving Gaza and removing 9000 Jews form their homes, especially in a unilateral fashion, is a historic, Oslo-like mistake. Have we learned nothing from Oslo.”