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  • February 19, 2013

    ‘Sharon was about to leave two-thirds of the West Bank’

    I remember reading about this at the time of disengagement. Gaza was only stage one of the disengagement. Sharon had been brutalized by the Roadmap which was forced upon him. He understood that Israel had to act unilaterally and not simply wait for the pressure. Thus he concocted the disengagement. Ted Belman

    Prime minister was drafting plan for a unilateral pullout when he fell ill, says his former adviser Rafi Eitan, and Netanyahu should tell Obama he’s ready for similar ‘mosaic separation’


    US President Barack Obama is due to arrive in Israel for his first presidential visit in March, and speculation abounds surrounding the true intent of his trip. Rafi Eitan, a former high-ranking Mossad official and government minister under Ehud Olmert — banned from the US since the capture of his most famous agent, Jonathan Pollard — says Netanyahu should await the president with a diplomatic proposal of his own: unilateral disengagement from the West Bank.

    Former prime minister Ariel Sharon, who was advised by Eitan for years, was engaged in drafting exactly such a plan, which would include the annexation of roughly one-third of the West Bank to Israel, when he suffered a debilitating stroke in January 2006, Eitan told The Times of Israel.

    At 86, Eitan — a long-time intelligence operative who oversaw the capture of Adolf Eichmann in 1960, and had a late-life improbable career as a cabinet minister and head of the Gil Pensioners party in the Knesset from 2006-9 —  is as sharp and eloquent as ever. This slight man, with his trademark thick-rimmed glasses, did not mince his words when speaking of what he perceives as fatal American mistakes in handling the “Arab Spring” — particularly at that crucial moment in June 2012 when the administration could have imposed a secular president on Egypt, Ahmad Shafiq — and by doing so change the course of that country’s history.

    Relating to the Ben Zygier Mossad suicide scandal, Eitan said he believes that holding prisoners in solitary confinement may be justifiable if the secrets they divulge can potentially harm Israel’s national security. He refused to address the specifics of the Zygier case, but said that a number of prisoners have been held in similar conditions in the past; their names have all since been revealed by the media.

    Israel should withdraw from the West Bank, even without a Palestinian partner

    A month before prime minister Sharon suffered a stroke, in January 2006, he was on the phone with Eitan. Four months after Israel’s unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip, the two discussed a preliminary plan to leave the West Bank as well, while maintaining the maximum number of Israeli settlements under Israeli control.

    “Sharon knew that we must disengage from the Palestinians in the West Bank too; that we can’t continue occupying a foreign people,” Eitan told The Times of Israel.

    Sharon dubbed his plan “the mosaic separation,” because it left most Israeli settlements intact, allowing isolated Palestinian villages access to large urban centers through an intricate system of underpasses and tunnels.

    “Arik [Sharon] said: Let’s divide Judea and Samaria and take roughly one-third for ourselves, leaving two-thirds for the Arabs,” Eitan said. “Under this plan, the Jordan Valley and the Judean Desert would remain ours.”

    With the Palestinian body politic divided today between Gaza and the West Bank — while internal rifts within the PLO prevent “even the signing of an interim agreement” — Eitan said he would advise Netanyahu to implement the Sharon plan immediately.

    “We must disconnect from them [the Palestinians] as much as possible,” Eitan said, adding that he would even favor a plan attributed to former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman of handing over the area known as “the Triangle” in northwest Israel — with its 300,000 Arab citizens — to the future Palestinian state.

    Allowing Morsi to win in Egypt was ‘stupidity that will resonate for generations’

    “The military unequivocally decided that [Ahmed] Shafiq will be president, not [Mohammed] Morsi,” Eitan told The Times of Israel. “But the Americans put all the pressure on. The announcement [of the president] was delayed by three or four days because of this struggle.”

    Immediately after Egypt’s presidential elections in June 2012, Eitan spoke to unnamed local officials, who told him that with a mere 5,000-vote advantage for Islamist candidate Morsi, the military was prepared to announce the victory of his adversary Shafiq, a secular military man closely associated with the Mubarak regime.

    But secretary of state Hillary Clinton, Eitan said, decided to favor democracy at all costs and disallow any falsification of the vote.

    “This is idiocy. An act of stupidity that will resonate for generations,” Eitan said. “I also thought Mubarak should be replaced, but I believed the Americans would be smart enough to replace him with the next figure. Mubarak would have agreed to that, but the Americans didn’t want that; they wanted democracy. But there is no real democracy in the Arab world at the moment. It will take a few generations to develop.

    “The United States is a real democracy. But for the past 50 years I’ve been saying that when it comes to dealing with small nations, the Americans are a foolish nation.”

    Will Obama release Pollard?

    Beginning in 1984, Eitan was responsible for handling Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard as head of Lekem, the bureau of scientific relations in Israel’s Defense Ministry. Following Pollard’s exposure and arrest the following year, Lekem was disbanded and Eitan retired from his security position. To this day, he is banned from traveling to the United States.

    Pro-Pollard activists — who appealed to Israel’s Supreme Court in 2006 to prevent Eitan’s appointment as cabinet minister, for his perceived failure to protect his operative — are turning up the pressure on Israeli politicians to raise the issue with the visiting US president.

    But Eitan believes these efforts are futile.

    “Obama will not ‘bring’ Pollard. He can do it, but the American system is built like a machine and he needs to overcome that machine to produce Pollard. The best he can do is use Pollard as a goodwill gesture towards Israel.

    But will he come with serious proposals for negotiations [with the Palestinians]? I doubt it. I’m skeptical, because previous American proposals of this kind haven’t worked.”

    Holding prisoners in the dark

    When asked whether there is security justification for holding prisoners in solitary confinement — even hiding their identity from the public eye, as was the case with Australian-born Israeli Mossad agent Ben Zygier — Eitan’s answer is unequivocal.

    “Certainly. When you’re isolated, you don’t talk to other prisoners… there’s a reason for these things. A person full of secrets, who failed in one way or another, should be held in isolation at least during his investigation period.”

    Eitan said that a few similar cases occurred in Israel in the past, and all have eventually been exposed by the media. He added that in today’s media reality, Israel’s security agencies will have to find new methods to protect sensitive information from leaking.

    “Today there is no possibility to protect sensitive secrets. They leak out. Twenty years ago you could assemble the [newspaper] editors’ committee, give them your story, and they would make sure the matter was not published. This doesn’t exist anymore. Today, when you sit with the editors, they are surrounded by two circles of journalists.

    “Loyalty to the community, and indeed to the state, has diminished due to social networks and the cheap cost of travel,” Eitan ended on a somber note. “Now, keeping secrets is hard.”

  • Posted by Ted Belman @ 11:02 pm | 21 Comments »

    21 Comments to ‘Sharon was about to leave two-thirds of the West Bank’

    1. yamit82 says:

      Time for Efi Eitan and Shimon Peres to finally vacate this world. The Christian Hades and Lake of Fire is calling.

      Yesh Din V’Yesh Dayan – English Subtitles
      There is a Judge and there is Judgement

      Most of the Individuals involved either with the planning and actions of and against the Gush Katif and Amona have paid a personal political and professional price. Only a very few have yet to receive their just Judgements, but they will.

      What is the similarity between Sharon and Stalin?

      Stalin was to sign the order for his version of the Final solution sending all the Jews to Siberia where they were to be worked and starved o death. He died on Purim the day before he was to sign the order.

      Sharon had a stroke before he could carry out further crimes against the Land of Israel, the Jewish people and G-d.

    2. yamit82 says:

      The Judge and the Judgment (Yesh Din VeYesh Dayan) Part 1

      Part 2

      Produced by the World Committee for the Jewish People and the Land of Israel (HaMateh HaOlami Lema’an HaAm VeAaretz), this impressive … all » documentary shows how the present debacle of Israel’s Kadima government started with the catastrophic mistake known as the “Disengagement”. Surrendering parts of the Holy Land brought neither peace nor security, and placed the perpetrators in eternal shame.

      May the lesson be learned, and the horrors of land surrender, and of depraving Jews of their rightful place in the Land of Israel, never again be repeated!

    3. Bernard Ross says:

      yamit82 Said:

      The Judge and the Judgment (Yesh Din VeYesh Dayan) Part 1…..Part 2

      wish it was in english. I find it hard to understand how Israel accepted uprooting them after encouraging them to go there in the first place.

    4. CuriousAmerican says:

      @ yamit82:
      Surrendering parts of the Holy Land brought neither peace nor security, and placed the perpetrators in eternal shame.

      Do you believe in Hell, Yamit?

    5. the phoenix says:

      CuriousAmerican Said:

      Do you believe in Hell,

      only in turkish coffee, american!

    6. Honey Bee says:

      @ CuriousAmerican:

      Yes Yamit believes in hell, but when you are roastng there, you wil not meet him!!!!!!!!!!!

    7. Honey Bee says:

      @ Bernard Ross:

      There you go again Placing your faith in Government!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    8. Honey Bee says:

      @ yamit82:

      Thank-you for the song. love it and will pass it on to my Evangelical friends who were horrified by Sharon’s actions in Gaza. In fact many Texan viewed the action with horror,as an example of Big Govt gone amuck. Why we cling to our guns. I won’t back down!!!!!!!!!

    9. Honey Bee says:

      @ yamit82:


    10. Andrew says:

      I remember reading a fascinating article about Israeli PMs. Every PM who gave away land ended up dead or disgraced in no time.

    11. Michael Devolin says:

      “Do you believe in Hell, Yamit?”

      The barnacle has fastened on again.

    12. Michael Devolin says:

      “He died on Purim the day before he was to sign the order.”


    13. Honey Bee says:

      @ Michael Devolin:

      Man proposives G-d disposives

    14. yamit82 says:

      @ Michael Devolin:

      When I served in Korea and Nam we had a slogan, “When I die I’m sure to go to heaven, cause I’ve served my time in hell”

    15. yamit82 says:

      CuriousAmerican Said:

      Do you believe in Hell, Yamit?

      Only the kind of hell we make ourselves.

      Judaism believes in reward and punishment but only in this world. Anything beyond that is purely speculative and there are many opinions but in most cases they belong to ex-biblical exegesis, mostly in apocryphal writings and the Zohar.

      “Although Judaism believes in heaven, the Torah speaks very little about it. The Torah focuses less on how we get to heaven and considerably more on how to live our lives. We perform the mitzvot because it is our privilege and our sacred obligation to do so. We perform them out of a sense of love and duty, not out of a desire to get something in return.

      There is a practical reason for this. If we lived a righteous life for the sake of a monetary or heavenly reward it would be serving G-d for an ulterior motive.

    16. Honey Bee says:

      @ yamit82:

      6*7*8 Open up those Pearly Gates

    17. yamit82 says:

      Honey Bee Said:

      @ yamit82:
      6*7*8 Open up those Pearly Gates


    18. Honey Bee says:

      @ yamit82:

      He American Soldier, would you then prefere the Scacred Blue Lake,beat***beat***beat.

    19. Michael Devolin says:

      My posek is a Vietnam vet, Yamit. He also fought in the Yom Kippur War. You have nothing but my respect. I train Canadian vets from Afganistan. Tough guys, none that I’d wanna mess with.

    20. the phoenix says:

      @ Michael Devolin:

      My posek is a Vietnam vet, Yamit. He also fought in the Yom Kippur War. You have nothing but my respect

      I couldn’t have said it any better…
      … And that would be a mild understatement.

    21. Honey Bee says:

      @ the phoenix:

      I can say it better, Yamit is a Sugar Pie. Can you call brave men Sugar Pie?

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