By Ted Belman
Shaul Mofaz, who is second only to Livni in the Kadima party and a potential Minister of Defense should Kadima form the next government has been an advocate of an interim agreement with the Palestinians which would create a provisional state. Now he has suggested a Second Defensive Shield to clean out Hamas from Gaza, just as the first cleanned out the terrorists in Judea and Samaria after Intifadah II,
- [..] The continuation of this terror offensive must prompt us to undertake strategic action to end Hamas’ rule in Gaza. This is not about directing meaningful fire at open spaces, and we must not only focus on the rocket launching cells.
We must carry out methodical, ceaseless operations against anyone affiliated with Hamas or Islamic Jihad. Terror group members cannot be divided into operatives and a “back office.” The lives of anyone associated with Hamas and terrorism must become an inseparable part of the equation involving attacks on Israeli communities.
Should the State of Israel fail to root out terror hotbeds in the Gaza Strip, terrorism will only grow. We must not allow Hamas to drag us into a war of attrition. We shall not be hostages in the hands of terror and we shall not let those who fire missiles determine our daily routine.
Israel has the means to curb this terror. This is what we did at the height of the suicide bombing wave in 2002. Under the lead of then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, we struck the terror infrastructure in Judea and Samaria. The results of Operation Defensive Shield are apparent to this day. We have now reached the moment of decision in the Gaza Strip as well.
So far so good. Then he goes on to attack Netanyahu for running a “sit and do nothing government” and not making a decision on borders.
He wants to integreat our war on terror with a new diplomatic offensive.
The time has come to show responsibility and say in a clear voice that only a combination of an uncompromising war on terror alongside the start of a genuine diplomatic process will ensure our existence as a Jewish democratic state. On one hand, we must strike the terror groups that wish to exterminate us and fight them mercilessly, without hypocrisy or doublespeak.
By referring to a “genuine diplomatic process” he is of course recommending that Israel accept the ’67 lines as the starting point of negotiations. Nothing else will suffice. He says
[Israel must] embark on a diplomatic process with the Palestinian Authority and with the Syrians, and secure Israel’s final-status borders once and for all. The need to take such action is growing in the face of the current Mideastern earthquake.
And there you have the divide in Israeli politics. Kadima and the left are prepared to restart negotiations by accepting ’67 as the starting point. Likud and the right is not.
Israel must insist on negotiations without preconditions. If the UN votes in September to recognize Palestine thereby breaching the Oslo Accords by taking a unilateral step on the status of Judea and Samaria, then Israel will react by annexing J&S or just “B” and “C” leaving the Arab population centers out.