Yaalon: Gaza withdrawal
caused Lebanon war
The former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief-of-Staff, Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon, has declared that the Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mamhoud Abbas is “no partner for peace.” Yaalon made his comment in an interview on Israeli television in which he also said that that “the unilateral approach that drove the [2005 withdrawal from Gaza] has failed and Israel must abandon it … [it] is seen by the other side as Israel fleeing” (Haaretz , May 26).
In the same interview, Yaalon argued that former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s Gaza/northern Samaria withdrawal, in which 10,000 Israeli Jews were forced from their homes, was responsible for the failures of last year’s Lebanon War and stated that if the situation in Gaza deteriorates further, there will be an escalation of hostilities with Hizballah on the border with Lebanon. He also firmly rejected the idea of developing an anti-Qassem rocket defense system for the western Negev, saying that such defense systems do not work and are not an adequate answer for the incessant barrage of rockets being fired into Israel by Palestinian Arab terrorists in Gaza. Instead, Yaalon strongly advocated that the IDF launch a massive incursion into Gaza in order to cleanse the land of the rocket threat.
Yaalon stated, “The problem in Gaza will not solve itself and no one will solve it for us. It requires us to reach the terrorists and the areas in which they operate, and strike at the industry of terror. We did this during Operation Defensive Shield, and before that operation we were unsure about whether to proceed. Today, you must be blind not to realize the necessity of entering Gaza.”
Yaalon has also recently stated that “It seems we have lost our fighting instinct. These last few years, all we say is that we are strong enough to concede, that we are strong enough to run away. In order to get the other side to recognize our right to be an independent Jewish state, we must become more forceful” ( Yediot Ahronot, May 26). Yaalon also reiterated that he opposes the creation of a Palestinian state and emphasizing that we must understand that Palestinian Arabs consider all of Israel, even within the pre-1967 borders, as being under illegal occupation. (He is joined in his opposition to Palestinian statehood by renowned Middle East scholar Bernard Lewis, former CIA Director R. James Woolsey and others). Additionally, his observations about Israel’s loss of fighting instinct have been borne out by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert himself, who stated already in June 2005 that “We are tired of fighting, we are tired of being courageous, we are tired of winning, we are tired of defeating our enemies, we want that we will be able to live in an entirely different environment of relations with our enemies. We want them to be our friends, our partners, our good neighbors.”
Mahmoud Abbas in his own words:
- On recognizing Israel:” It is not required of Hamas, or of Fatah, or of the Popular Front to recognize Israel” (Al-Arabiya [Dubai] and PA TV, October 3, 2006).
- Fighting Israel: “We have a legitimate right to direct our guns against Israeli occupation … Our rifles, all our rifles are aimed at The Occupation” ( Jerusalem Post, January 11, 2007; Independent Media & Review Analysis, January 12, 2007).
- On Jews: “The sons of Israel are corrupting humanity on earth” ( World Net Daily, January 11, 2007).
- On Israel: “the Zionist enemy” (Associated Press, January 4, 2005; CNN.com, January 7, 2005).
- On suicide bombers: “Allah loves the martyr” ( Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2005).
- On wanted Palestinian terrorists: “heroes fighting for freedom” (Age [Melbourne], January 3, 2005); “Israel calls them murderers, we call them strugglers” (Jerusalem Post, December 25, 2004).
- On Palestinian terrorist leaders Yasser Arafat, Hamas’ Ahmad Yasin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi and Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Fathi Shikaki: “martyrs” (Palestinian Media Center , September 9, 2005)
- On Hamas: “We must unite the Hamas and Fatah blood in the struggle against Israel as we did at the beginning of the intifada. We want a political partnership with Hamas” ( Jerusalem Post, February 5, 2007).
- On Yasser Arafat: “It is our duty to implement the principles of Yasser Arafat” ( Haaretz, January 3, 2005); “We will continue in the path of the late president until we fulfill all his dreams” (Agence France-Presse, November 11, 2005); “The Palestinian leadership won’t stray from Arafat’s path” (Yediot Ahronot, November 11, 2006)
- On disarming Palestinian terrorists: a “red line” that must not be crossed (Washington Times, January 3, 2005)
- On jailed Palestinian terrorists : “our heroes.” (Israel National News, May 26, 2006).
- On the so-called ‘right of return’ of Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendants which, if implemented would end Israel as a Jewish state: “The issue of the refugees is non-negotiable” ( Jerusalem Post, January 11, 2007).
- On the Lebanese terrorist group Hizballah: A source of pride and sets an example for the “Arab resistance” (Jerusalem Post, August 6, 2006).
- Saddam Hussein: “Saddam Hussein has entered history as a symbol of Pan-Arab nationalism” ( Independent Media Review and Analysis, December 31, 2006).
Mahmoud Abbas’ acts:
- Holocaust denial: He wrote a PhD thesis and published a book denying the Holocaust.
- Terrorist group Fatah: He co-founded with arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat the terrorist group Fatah, whose Constitution to this day calls for the destruction of Israel (Article 12) and the use of terrorism against Israelis as an indispensable part of the struggle to achieve that goal (Article 19).
- Funding terrorism: as senior PLO official, he funded the Munich massacre of Israeli Olympic athletes in 1972.
- Terror & incitement to violence: He has refused to implement the signed Oslo agreements and the 2003 Roadmap peace plan which requires him to fight, arrest, extradite and jail terrorists and confiscate their weaponry and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feeds it.
- Terrorists’ plan for more violence : In May 2006, he endorsed the so-called ‘Prisoners’ Plan’, a document produced by jailed Palestinian terrorists, that endorses continued terrorism against Israel, legitimizes the murder of Jews, does not accept Israel’s existence as a Jewish state, abrogates Palestinian obligations under the signed Oslo agreements and the 2003 Roadmap peace plan, and insists on the ‘right of return.’
- Money for suicide bombers’ families : In December 2005, he approved legislation mandating financial benefits to be paid to families of killed Palestinian terrorists.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “The ZOA has long argued that Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah party that he co-founded with arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat are neither moderate nor peace-makers. ZOA is gratified to see someone of the stature and experience of General Yaalon come out publicly debunking the strongly-held fantasy of Mahmoud Abbas as a man of peace. Above all, Abbas has consistently failed to implement long-standing Palestinian obligations under the Oslo agreements and the 2003 Roadmap peace plan to arrest and jail terrorists, close the bomb factories and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feeds terrorism. What is the purpose of negotiating with Abbas if it is clear that he would refuse or be unable to fulfill any agreement that might be concluded?
“The ZOA strongly supports former IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Yaalon’s position that the Israeli government needs to take much stronger action against the PA than it has till now. In fact, Gen. Yaalon previously stated that he recommended such strong action after the first rocket attack was launched following the Gaza withdrawal. The PA under Hamas and Mahmoud Abbas must be sent a clear message that there are severe consequences that will come with further attempts to murder Israelis and import the offensive weaponry into Gaza in order to do so.”
“Almost all leaders in Israel and within the American Jewish community publicly and strongly supported the 2005 Gaza withdrawal and the forced transfer of 10,000 Jewish men, women and children from their homes, synagogues, schools and farms and businesses. Now almost everyone recognizes that this action was a serious mistake. It is high time for those leaders in Israel and the United States who supported the Gaza withdrawal to publicly apologize and express their recognition that this was the wrong policy decision. The purpose of such an apology is not to enable those of us who opposed it to say ‘I told you so’ — it is rather to send a clear and public message that they will never again support one-sided concessions, especially those that include the forced removal of innocent Israeli citizens, to a Palestinian Arab regime.”