Ha’aretz’s Danny Rubenstein: Gaza Unilateral Withdrawal Helped Hamas Win Palestinian Elections
January 27, 2006

New York – Veteran prize-winning Israeli journalist for the Ha’aretz newspaper, Danny Rubenstein, told a group of Jewish leaders discussing the Palestinian elections that Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza and northern Samaria last year boosted Hamas’ standing in Palestinian society and strongly helped Hamas win this election. Rubenstein’s statement was made in response to a question posed by ZOA National President Morton A. Klein. Klein asked, “Did Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza and northern Samaria last year, by giving away territory and uprooting thousands of Jews for nothing in return from the Palestinian side, help Hamas by showing that terrorism produces these results?”

Danny Rubinstein answered, “Yes, unilateral withdrawal certainly played into the hands of Hamas and strongly helped in their election victory.”

Summing up, Morton Klein said, “It is clear that Israel’s unilateral withdrawal was a boost to Hamas and might even in large part explain its victory in Palestinian elections. In light of this, it is a mistake for Acting Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and other figures in the Israeli government to be foreshadowing that, if no serious efforts are made on the Palestinian side to make peace, Israel will simply carry out further unilateral withdrawals. Like the Gaza/northern Samaria withdrawal, further unilateral withdrawals will only bring more terrorism, increased rocket attacks, more smuggling of weapons and more strength to Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups. Where Israel leaves unilaterally and in return for nothing from the Palestinians, terrorists are emboldened and strengthened and the areas handed over become launching pads for more terrorism. For Israel to be making statements that it will carry out further unilateral retreats is an open invitation to Palestinian leaders to do nothing towards living up to their obligations to fight terrorism and end the incitement to hatred and murder within Palestinian society that feeds it.”

Our Mission
The ZOA speaks out for Israel – in reports, newsletters, and other publications. In speeches in synagogues, churches, and community events, in high schools and colleges from coast to coast. In e-mail action alerts. In op-eds and letters to the editor. In radio and television appearances by ZOA leaders. Always on the front lines of pro-Israel activism, ZOA has made its mark.
  • Center for Law & Justice
    We work to educate the American public and Congress about legal issues in order to advance the interests of Israel and the Jewish people.
    We assist American victims of terrorism in vindicating their rights under the law, and seek to hold terrorists and sponsors of terrorism accountable for their actions.
    We fight anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias in the media and on college campuses.
    We strive to enforce existing law and also to create new law in order to safeguard the rights of the Jewish people in the United States and Israel.