Some interesting revelations and words of wisdom from Shlomo Gazit.
Immediately after the Six Day War, 40 years ago, Shlomo Gazit was put in charge of Gaza and the West Bank. Today, the retired general is in favour of talks with Hamas, describes the road map as a “pretext” for Israel not to negotiate with the Palestinians, and thinks the idea that the US can or should veto a peace process between Jerusalem and Damascus is a “nonsense”.
An interesting prediction
Had Ariel Sharon not had his massive stroke in January 2006, Mr Gazit believes he would have realised that withdrawal from Gaza was not going to be enough to fulfil the demographic objective that had come to preoccupy him – ensuring a Jewish majority in the territory controlled by Israel. As a result, he thinks, Mr Sharon would have embarked on withdrawals from the West Bank.
And an unexpected revelation.
On top of that, he says, opinion polls show that a clear majority of the Israeli public want an agreement on a two-state solution. They realise that “small is beautiful, and that if Israel wants to survive as a Jewish state, we have to get rid of the territories”.
Sadly, not a sentiment shared by all in Israel.
Ron Caspi, the prominent lawyer has suggested strangulating the Gaza Strip. In the financial daily Globes of May 25, he called for, “neither a land incursion nor an aerial attack, but the creation of a noose … From the moment that rocket number eight is fired, the government of Israel will act to cut Gaza off from the essential infrastructure systems of fuel, water, electricity and telephones, and will prevent others from providing these utilities to Gaza.”In other words: to cut a million and a half people off from the sources of life.