Efraim Halevy: End the ambiguity

If there is no way to guarantee Israeli citizens’ safety without zero achievements for Palestinians, our leaders must say it clearly and fearlessly.

By Efraim Halevy, YNET

The events of the past few weeks in Judea and Samaria, and especially in Jerusalem, emphasize the political echelon’s statements on the possibility of an agreement with the Palestinians.

The top consideration for guaranteeing the security of the State of Israel and its citizens is dictating more than ever a policy of “zero risk” to human life, and therefore full security control over the entire territory – from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon recently presented his doctrine on the Palestinian issue, saying that he sees no other option but to leave the Israeli shekel as the official currency in Judea and Samaria in any future agreement, as the Israeli and Palestinian economies are intertwined.

According to reports, Ya’alon said that the Palestinians could enjoy a sort of municipal autonomy. This means they would not be able to enact primary legislation, and would likely only be able to institute regulations which would be valid in accordance with the primary legislation in the Knesset.

The defense minister, who is known for his integrity and earnestness, expressed the actual policy – as opposed to the government’s declared policy – on the overall Palestinian issue. Guaranteeing the security of Israel’s citizens requires a hermetic closure of the Palestinian entity – militarily, economically and constitutionally – in order to prevent any possibility of a future deterioration of Israel.

But a “zero risk” policy requires a “zero achievement” policy for the Palestinians. This approach was demonstrated very well at the end of Operation Protective Edge, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated that Hamas had not achieved a thing – neither a seaport nor an airport for the Gaza Strip – while Israel had demanded and received an agreement that the entire restoration process of the destruction from the war in Gaza would be sponsored by the Palestinian Authority, which acts today and will hopefully continue to act in the future as a sort of municipal system as part of the sovereign State of Israel.

On this background, Israel’s demand that the Gaza Strip would be demilitarized as an imperative condition for the full naturalization of the Strip is highly important. Gaza’s residents are required to get accustomed to a permanent situation in which the Palestinian Authority’s security units, which are manned with residents of Judea and Samaria only, will control their borders in the first stage and their streets in the second stage, ignoring the eternal animosity between the Gazans and the people of Nablus and Ramallah.

Is this the way to implement the “zero risk” perception on the Gazan front? The Palestinians translate this Israeli policy as “zero chances” for them. It’s possible that they do not deserve a different approach, it’s possible that they are not ready for it, it’s possible that there is no option of securing Israel without a “zero chance” approach for Mahmoud Abbas and his group. If that is the case, it’s time to say it clearly and fearlessly.

Adopting doubletalk, which allegedly sides with the “two state” policy while in fact undermining it, will not serve any constructive cause, and will strengthen the claims of those who doubt the government’s credibility, both towards the world and towards its citizens.

When Israel sought American support for its disengagement from Gaza, Washington conditioned its support on including part of the northern Samaria in the move. The names of the places we pulled out of have been forgotten in the public discourse.

On the eve of the Jewish New Year, 450 people got up in the middle of the night and joined the students of the renewed Homesh Yeshiva for the traditional Selichot prayers. Following this event, Minister Uri Ariel said: “I will continue working for the Jewish people’s return to Homesh, and as a first step in resuming continuous activity of the yeshiva and the voice of Torah in the place.”

“Homesh today and Gaza tomorrow?” will ask the average Gazan, who is invited to disarm and have faith in Israel’s goodwill and in the protection of the brothers in the West Bank.

Under these circumstances, there is no point in attempts to resume negotiations between those who support zero risks and those who see zero chances. It’s time for Israel to decide on its vision, on the goals derived from this vision and on how it should prepare to implement them.

This discussion should be led by the state’s leadership within the state. If this move is not taken, no one will take us seriously, and the Israeli public will stop believing its leaders.

Efraim Halevy is a former head of the Mossad.

November 10, 2014 | 8 Comments »

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8 Comments / 8 Comments

  1. @ M Devolin:
    These vermin are bent on the annihilation of Israel and the murder of its people.
    I will sound like a radical but the only solution to these impasse is to put them in the middle of the desert and nuke the bastards. Enough lives of our best have been lost to the country to our families and to the world at the altar of negotiating peace with thugs who the only reason to continue pulling a band over people’s eyes with the negotiating business is to extract more money from the West while they pocket it and hide it in their secret bank account.
    It is our land and we should not loose a single life to the demands of these insidious calculating bastards. Enough is enough.

  2. @ Bear Klein:

    No start letting all Hamas operatives go from Gaza to Y&S. . In a Week Bye Bye Abu Mazzen and then we go after Hamas with all we have. The world can’t and won’t defend them.

  3. Bear Klein Said:

    Start rounding them and their families up one by one and dumping them in Gaza.

    I prefer hb’s method (the three ‘sh’)
    It also saves on gas…

  4. We know Hamas people involved in terror attacks. Start rounding them and their families up one by one and dumping them in Gaza.

  5. Under these circumstances, there is no point in attempts to resume negotiations

    a logical conclusion. Killing and driving out jew killers is another logical conclusion, but Jews prefer their babies faces to be battered.

  6. It’s time for Israel to decide on its vision, on the goals derived from this vision and on how it should prepare to implement them.

    Gosh, I thought that vision and implementation began gack inthe 1800’s and was subscribed to by the international community in the LON mandate to wit:
    “the facilitation of immigration and the encouragement of close settlement of the Jewish people in their historical homeland”

    Both the vision and the implementation were long ago decided but some crazy Jews calling themselves the government of israel appear to be sabotaging the implementation AND the vision.

    Who is the madman, me or this author?

  7. “Under these circumstances, there is no point in attempts to resume negotiations between those who support zero risks and those who see zero chances. It’s time for Israel to decide on its vision, on the goals derived from this vision and on how it should prepare to implement them.”

    I can’t see anything in this article that someone hasn’t been suggesting as a denouement for decades. All that’s holding Israel back, as Halevy points out, is the leadership. But everyone knows this already. His suggestions sound redundant by now.