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Netanyahu's Priorities

Reader comment on item: Assessing Binyamin Netanyahu's Speech at Bar-Ilan University
in response to reader comment: Cunning vs. Wisdom

Submitted by Prof. Paul Eidelberg (Israel), Jun 18, 2009 at 01:05

Netanyahu's Resignation Letter (of 2005)

[Unofficial translation by IMRA]

7 August 2005

Mr. Ariel Sharon
Prime Minister
Jerusalem

Sir;

From the first conversation when you presented your plan to me, I told you that I oppose unilateral withdrawal without anything in return, that in my estimation will strengthen the forces of terror. As a minimum I asked for the inclusion of the settlement blocs within the security fence before the beginning of the withdrawal and the holding of the Philadephi Corridor in our hands. In this way we would be neutralizing the impression that we are running away from terror and instead shows that we are choosing a new defense line in accordance with our national interests. In addition, we set that after then the Government would be able to consider if to decide on the evacuation in light of the reality developing in the area.

To my sorrow, the security fence has not been completed around the settlement blocs, the Philadelphi Corridor will be handed over to the Palestinians, and worse than that, we will allow the Palestinians to open a sea port that will be open to the terror boats.

To my disappointment, the Government ignores reality. As I warned, the Hamas is strengthening, the terror continues, the firing of rockets and mortars on our communities has not ended, and terror elements proclaim that they will move the rockets that drove us out of the Gaza Strip to Judea and Samaria, and from there will operate them until "the complete liberation of Palestine."

I do not know when the terror will break out in full force. It is possible that it will take a month or two or a year or two. It is possible that the terror will first break out in Judea and Samaria. I hope that it won't break out at all. But just as I warned in 1993 that the Oslo Agreement will bring attacks from Judea and Samaria and rockets from Gaza, so I unfortunately am convinced today that the current move will bring in the course of time to an increase in terror rather than a decrease. As you know full well, security officials also confirm that in the wake of the unilateral withdrawal they expect an increase in terror in the mid-run.***

In summary: it is becoming increasingly clear that the unilateral withdrawal under fire doesn't give us anything. The opposite; it endangers the security of Israel, divides the Nation, and sets the principle of withdrawal to the '67 lines that are not defendable.***

This is not the way to achieve peace.

I always thought that the withdrawal from Gaza is possible in an agreement or for a reasonable consideration. That is not the case now. Therefore, what are we receiving in return for the withdrawal? What are we receiving for uprooting families with their children, their homes, their graves! We will receive an Islamic terror base.

After the terror attacks in New York, Washington, London and Sinai, the world begins to understand that it is necessary to fight terror and not make compromises. The international community understands more and more that it is impossible to fight terror by running away from it, because the accumulating experience shows that the terror only strengthens and pursues

us. And yet Israel, which showed the world the way to fight terror, now, goes in the completely opposite direction.

In recent months I hoped that the Government would open its eyes against this clear reality and change direction. But the opposite happened. A balanced Government that reflected the will of the People in the last election has turned into a Government that carries out automatically policies that oppose the principles of the Likud and the mandate that we received from our voters.

Mister Prime Minister, you could have kept a balanced National Government. You could have prevented the splitting of the Nation. Over the course of months I asked for a national referendum that would maintain unity in the Government and the Nation. To my sorrow, you chose to oppose it, as before

you chose to ignore the referendum of the Likud members that you initiated and whose results you promised to honor. Now, in these hard days before us, the need for reserve, control and responsibility from all parts of the Nation and the Government is greater than ever.

All this time I remained in the Government despite my growing opposition to the withdrawal given the developments. I did this as an attempt to minimize the dangers and damages resulting from the unilateral withdrawal. An attempt that to my sorrow has been exhausted. And I did it out of

responsibility to my position as minister of the treasury. We are in the middle of carrying out a revolution of reforms and privatizations unprecedented in the market, which will strengthen the State of Israel and its economy. These days I completed the two last reforms, in banks and reducing taxes, and I prepared a responsible State budget that I developed

in complete coordination with you.

When I entered my position two and a half years ago, the Israeli economy was on the edge of collapse. Today this economy is healthy, growing and vibrant. If the economic policies that I led are not changed, the growth will continue and reach all parts of the Nation.

Today we reached the moment of truth. There is a way to reach peace and security. Unilateral withdrawal under fire without compensation is not the way. I am not prepared to be a partner to a step that ignores reality and blindly advances the establishment of an Islamic terror base that will threaten the State. I am not prepared to be a partner to an irresponsible

move that endangers the security of Israel, divides the Nation, sets the principle of withdrawal to the '67 lines, and in the future even endangers the unity of Jerusalem.

Therefore I advise today of my resignation from the Government.

Best regards,

***

1) Underscoring not in the original.

2) Note his reference to "the will of the people" [expressed in the January 2003 election, when 75 percent of the Jewish vote went to parties opposed to unilateral withdrawal from Gaza].

3) Contrast the weight of two of Netanyahu's statements:

"I remained in the Government despite my growing opposition to the withdrawal given the developments. I did this as an attempt to minimize the dangers and damages resulting from the unilateral withdrawal. An attempt that to my sorrow has been exhausted. And I did it out of responsibility to my position as minister of the treasury.

and the weight of this statement:

"I am not prepared to be a partner to an irresponsible move that endangers the security of Israel, divides the Nation, sets the principle of withdrawal to the '67 lines, and in the future even endangers the unity of Jerusalem"

Submitting....

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