Speaking at the Knesset, MK Ze’ev Elkin tells US Jewish leaders that when Israel leaves territory it once held, it leads to more attacks on Israel and provides opportunities for its enemies.
“We have seen that every place we decide to leave — south Lebanon and the Gaza Strip — has become a new base for radical Islam,” Elkin says to members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, adding in an apparent exaggeration that since the 2006 Second Lebanon War, 100,000 rockets have been launched from former IDF strongholds.
Elkin says that the disengagement from Gaza has taught Israel three key lessons: not to rely on foreign forces, not to leave territory without a security arrangement, and to prevent weapons — especially rockets — from being brought into territory formerly held by Israel.
Retaking Gaza, however, would be a complicated endeavor.
“If you try to imagine what is the feeling of Israelis — I made aliya in 1990 from the eastern part of Ukraine — had someone at that time said Ashdod, Ashkelon will be under attack, it would have been ridiculous… Now it is a daily reality.”
However “without doubt the main security threat for the State of Israel is not Gaza, is not Lebanon — it is Iran.”
“We will probably not have an alternative than entering Gaza, but our concern is the basic security of our people,” he says. “Only we can do our choice. We will probably not have any choice but to return to Gaza for a short period.”
— Amanda Borschel-Dan