Skip to comments.Chief of Staff Yaalon: We must win war against "cancerous" Palestinian threat
Posted on 08/26/2002 7:32:24 AM PDT by Israel Insider
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Yaalon said "the current Palestinian leadership does not recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish State and is trying to destroy Israel in stages." Israel and the Palestinians are "at war," Yaalon declared, and Israel must win this war at all costs - otherwise, Palestinian terror would spread like a cancer throughout the region. Left-wing politicians attacked Yaalon for giving a political-diplomatic speech.
Yaalon addressed a conference organized in Jerusalem yesterday by the Chief Rabbinate ahead of the coming Jewish High Holy Days. Although Yaalon refused to begin speaking until journalists left the room, his speech was leaked to the media.
The main points of Yaalon's speech included:
Palestinian leadership does not recognize Israel's right to exist "The current Palestinian leadership does not recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish State," Yaalon said. They believe "that through terror and similar processes they will succeed in establishing a state, first in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip, and afterwards in the other parts of the land of Israel..."
The "Palestinian threat has cancerous characteristics," Yaalon said. Like a person ill with cancer, "you can't always see the symptoms, but it is destructive and very dangerous," he explained.
Israel and the Palestinians are at war Palestinian violence is actually an "initiated war," Yaalon said, "and not a national uprising." He said, "As a military man, we must win this conflict in such a way that the Palestinian side will have burned into its consciousness that terrorism and violence have no chance of leading to any achievement which translates into Israeli surrender."
The Palestinians believed Israel could not absorb the massive loss of life and economic damage of ongoing violence and the public outcry "would direct the political echelon to reach decisions, whether it be a unilateral withdrawal or anything else that is essentially surrendering to terror," he said.
The Iraqi threat Yaalon said he was not losing sleep over the possibility that Iraq might launch a missile attack against Israel. Israel has a "good, determined and clear response" to such an attack, he said, though he added "Iraq has been trying to get weapons of mass destruction and sees the destruction of Israel as a supreme goal." The Iraqi threat "does not pose an existential threat to the state of Israel," Yaalon said.
Unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon was a mistake Yaalon said that there was a clear connection between Israel's unilateral withdrawal from the security zone in southern Lebanon and the start of the Palestinian Intifada. "The withdrawal from Lebanon brought about... the decision of terror organizations to use force against Israel." A unilateral withdrawal now from the territories would amount to a "submission to terror," Yaalon warned. "If we give in to terror again, it could bring other groups, such as Israeli Arabs, to understand that the use of terror pays."
Yaalon also said that Iran was doing everything in its power to bring about Israel's destruction. He said that Syrian President Bashar Assad had made a strategic decision to use terror and an armed struggle to intensify Syria's conflict with Israel.
Yaalon criticized for giving "political" speech Over the weekend, Yaalon sharply criticized senior officers who had openly opposed the possibility of an Israeli troop withdrawal from Hebron. "It is important for military men to express their opinions to the cabinet before it reaches a decision, but IDF officers criticizing the political leadership afterwards is not compatible with proper management or acceptable with the principles of democracy," he reportedly wrote to the officers, ynet reported.
Left-wing politicians charged that Yaalon's speech was exactly what he had called on his colleagues to refrain from expressing - criticism of the political echelon.
"The Chief of Staff apparently got confused between the forum of rabbis and the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, where he was actually less open with his opinions," said MK Ophir Pines-Paz (Labor).
Former Justice Minister Yossi Beilin said the Chief of Staff must continue serving as head of the military arm of Israeli democracy, and not become its critic. Beilin defended Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon and the Oslo Peace Process as the most important things Israel has done to save itself from a diplomatic, security and demographic disaster. "If the Chief of Staff disagrees with this, it is his full right to [voice his opinion] as a citizen, and not as a soldier in uniform."
The Prime Minister's Office said it had no official comment on Yaalon's speech, but sources there indicated that Yaalon had just expressed his professional opinion on security matters. "This stance has been presented in the past by intelligence officers and the head of the Shin Bet," the sources said.
No, the difference seems to be which side has been specifically targeting civilian non-combatants.
So give the Pallies "free helicopters and tanks"....... Israel will still slam the crap out of them. Then what excuse will you and the Palestinians cook up next? Stupid Jihad is eternal. This is a given.
See what that gets them.