250,000 Rally at Wall
to Oppose Gaza Plan
New York — Former Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Binyamin Netanyahu addressed the Israeli Knesset yesterday pleading with his fellow lawmakers to “grasp the danger and do the right thing” to help thwart the uprooting of Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria before it’s too late.
Netanyahu called the Gaza expulsion plan “evil” saying it would turn Gaza into a “huge base for terror…al-Quaeda has already announced it will open a branch in Gaza.” He added, “the terrorists are cheering. Don’t give them guns. Don’t give them rockets. Don’t give them a seaport. Don’t give them an airport. Don’t give them a huge base for terror.”
He said he had in vain warned Prime Minister Ariel Sharon about the likelihood of Gaza becoming a major center for terrorist operations once Israel pulled out. Netanyahu said of the Israeli government, “they have eyes but don’t see. They have ears but don’t hear. Only we in the Knesset are able to stop this evil. Everything that the Knesset has decided, it is also capable of changing.”
He compared a Palestinian Arab-run Gaza with its own seaport, to the communist take-over of Cuba, which led to the introduction fo nuclear weapons and the 1962 missile crisis.
Prime Minister Sharon responded by saying that Netanyahu had voted for the pullout. Sharon did not mention that he threatened to fire any minister who voted against the Plan in the Cabinet after firing ministers who publicly opposed the Plan, even before the vote. Before Sharon’s firing threat, some thought the vote would fail to support Sharon. He also threatened to fire Cabinet ministers who voted against the Plan in the Knesset. That threat applied to 23 Knesset members who are also Cabinet ministers. Two Cabinet ministers who voted against the Plan in the Knesset were fired.
The latest Israeli polls show Netanyahu leading Sharon by 42% to 27% among Likud members. Before Netanyahu announced his resignation he repeatedly trailed Sharon in the polls among Likud members.
After Netanyahu’s speech over a quarter of a million (250,000) Israelis attended a massive rally at the Western Wall to show opposition to the Gaza Plan. This may have been the largest rally in the history of Israel. There are also anti-Gaza withdrawal rallies being planned in cities throughout the world that will be taking place in the next few days.