THE SHARON'S GAZA PLAN
THE JEWISH POST LOOKS AT SOME OF THE GAZA PLAN INVOLVED ISSUES
Yasser Arafat chose the latter the path of blood, fire and shaheeds.
I have been told that the disengagement will be interpreted as a shameful withdrawal under pressure, and will increase the terror campaign, present Israel as weak, and will show our people as a nation unwilling to fight and to stand up for itself. I reject that statement outright. We have the strength to defend this country, and to strike at the enemy which seeks to destroy us. And there are those who tell me that, in exchange for a genuine signed peace agreement, they too would be willing to make these painful compromises. However, regrettably, we do not have a partner on the other side with whom to conduct genuine dialogue, in order to achieve a peace agreement. Even prime ministers of Israel who declared their willingness to relinquish the maximum territory of our homeland were answered with fire and hostility. Recently, the chairman of the Palestinian Authority declared that a million shaheeds will break through to Jerusalem. In the choice between a responsible and wise action in history, which may lead to painful compromise and a holy war to destroy Israel, Yasser Arafat chose the latter - the path of blood, fire and shaheeds. He seeks to turnn a national conflict which can be terminated through mutual understanding into a religious war between Islam and Jews, and even to spill the blood of Jews who live far away. Israel has many hopes, and faces extreme dangers. The most prominent danger is Iran, which is making every effort to acquire nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, and establishing an enormous terror network together with Syria in Lebanon. And I ask you: what are we doing and what are we struggling over in the face of these terrible dangers? Are we not capable of uniting to meet this threat? This is the true question. The Disengagement Plan does not replace negotiations and is not meant to permanently freeze the situation which will be created. It is an essential and necessary step in a situation which currently does not enable genuine negotiations for peace. However, everything remains open for a future agreement, which will hopefully be achieved when this murderous terror ends, and our neighbors will realize that they cannot triumph over us in this land. Mr. Chairman, with your permission, I will read several lines from a famous essay which was published in the midst of the Arab Revolt of 1936 - and we must bear in mind that the Jewish community in Israel numbeered less than 400,000.
We have no desire to permanently rule over millions of Palestinians
This essay by Moshe Beilinson was published in Davar, as I mentioned, during the murderous Arab Revolt of 1936 (and I quote): How much longer? People ask. How much longer? Until the strength of Israel in its land will condemn and defeat in advance any enemy attack; until the most enthusiastic and bold in any enemy camp will know; there are no means to break the strength of Israel in its land, because the necessity of life is with it, and the truth of life is with it, and there is no other way but to accept it. This is the essence of this campaign. I am convinced that everything we have done since then confirms these emphatic words. We have no desire to permanently rule over millions of Palestinians, who double their numbers every generation. Israel, which wishes to be an exemplary democracy, will not be able to bear such a reality over time. The Disengagement Plan presents the possibility of opening a gate to a different reality. Today, I wish to address our Arab neighbors. Already in our Declaration of Independence, in the midst of a cruel war, Israel, which was born in blood, extended its hand in peace to those who fought against it and sought to destroy it by force (and I quote): We appeal - in the very midst oof the onslaught launched against us now for months - to the Arab inhhabitants of the State of Israel to preserve peace and participate in the upbuilding of the State on the basis of full and equal citizenship and due representation in all its provisional and permanent institutions.
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