No More Withdrawals, Says Fmr. Israeli Army Chief Yaalon
November 19, 2008

Yaalon: ‘Land for peace’ policy brings war




The former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief-of-Staff, Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya’alon, has stated that the concessionary policy of Israeli territorial withdrawals must stop. Speaking at a press conference with Likud Chairman Binyamin Netanyahu to announce that he was entering political life and joining the Likud party, Gen. Yaalon said that, “The challenges Israel faces require a drastic change, considering the feeling of crisis … The withdrawals must end” (Amnon Meranda, ‘Yaalon: Withdrawals must end,’ Yediot Ahronot, November 18, 2008).


Gen. Ya’alon also took the opportunity of publicly recanting his former support for a policy of territorial concessions to the Palestinian Authority (PA), reportedly saying that “the ‘land for peace’ policy he once backed has proven that giving up Jewish land to Arabs brings war. He once stated that Israel could defend itself without the Golan Heights, which outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has proposed giving to Syria. Ya’alon told Yaron Dekel, host of the It’s All Talk Show on Voice of Israel government radio, ‘I was a believer in land for peace, but I have learned the past 15 years… it deteriorates our security.’ Ya’alon, who lives on a kibbutz, also said that the values he grew up with are no longer represented in political parties with which he once identified. Referring to Israel‘s first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion, Ya’alon said that if he were alive today, he “would not choose Labor, Meretz or Kadima.”


Ya’alon was Chief of Staff during the government of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who made the unprecedented move of not extending his term of office because of Ya’alon’s doubts about the plan to destroy all Jewish presence in the Gaza region and withdraw all IDF troops. He said that the expulsion and the withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000 by former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, now Defense Minister, left Israel with Kassam and Grad attacks on the south and the Second Lebanon War in the north” (Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu,Former IDF Chief of Staff: Land for Peace Brought Wars,’ Israel National News, November 19, 2008).


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “The ZOA has long believed that Gen. Ya’alon has spoken with rare candor and accuracy about the nature of the threats facing Israel and the impossibility of negotiating with the current Palestinian leadership a true and durable peace. We agree with him – and have said so often – that there should be cessation of any discussion of establishing a Palestinian state. We believe, as does Gen. Ya’alon, that under prevailing conditions such a state would be simply a terror-supporting entity devoted to murdering Jews and Israel‘s destruction and that it would also align itself with the global jihadist movements from al-Qaeda to Iran. We are proud of the fact that Gen. Ya’alon recently articulated these insights and others at a recent ZOA Distinguished Lectureship in New York City.


“The ZOA also believes that the increased danger which the Gaza withdrawal brought Israel should end any policy initiatives promoting more withdrawals. Any land which is given to the Palestinian Authority (PA) will be controlled by the Iran/Hamas/al-Qaeda axis. Mahmoud Abbas’ Fateh continues to incite the Palestinian population to hatred and murder and glorify terrorists. Only this week, 76 U.S. House Members urged Abbas to amend the Fateh Constitution, which still calls for Israel‘s destruction and the use of terror as an essential element in the strategy to achieve this goal. These are not matters of mere historical interest: In the past year alone, Fateh produced a 43rd anniversary poster depicting Israel labeled ‘Palestine’ and draped in a Palestinian kfiyyeh, with a picture of Arafat and Kalashnikov rifle on either side. Abbas recently praised as ‘martyrs’ several deceased terror masters, including Arafat and Hamas’ Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. It is also the case that Arafat’s picture hangs alongside that of Abbas in every PA office. Earlier in the year, Abbas praised the deceased terrorist George Habash and ordered PA flags lowered to half mast and declared three days of mourning. For all these reasons, we have been repeatedly urging both the Israeli and U.S. governments to end all talks and support for the PA, including stopping the $700 million financial aid it receives from the U.S.



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