המשנה לראש הממשלה השר משה יעלון מסיים הלילה ביקור בן שבוע ימים בארה”ב במהלכו נפגש עם גורמי ממשל בוושינגטון, עם ראשי קהילות יהודיות בשיקגו, וושינגטון ופילדפיה ועם חברי קונגרס וחברי מכוני מחקר בארה”ב. בסיום הביקור נאם בפני אלפי חברי הקהילה האוונגליסטית תומכי ישראל בפילדלפיה.
להלן נאומו המלא (באנגלית) :
Vice Prime Minister Yaalon’s US Speech 2010
For 62 years, Israel has been struggling for its existence. Yet for 62 years, while fighting wars and defending our citizens from endless terror, we absorbed millions of immigrants from every continent in the world, and managed miraculously to prosper and flourish. I want to emphasize this point right from the beginning because whenever we speak of the strategic challenges Israel faces people start being really gloomy and worried, so I have to remind you that the Jewish people in general and the state of Israel in particular have been in dire straits quite often but always managed to overcome. We did so thanks to our capability to come up with creative ideas and endless courage and commitment to our state and thanks to the support we get from so many supporters we have around the world – Jewish and Christians alike. That’s why I want to express right here my appreciation and gratitude to your unwavering support and affection.
Today, once again, Israel faces a wide-ranging set of threats and challenges. These threats are often viewed through a micro-lens and we always focus our attention on the last event like the Turkish Moslem Brotherhood provocative flotilla; however, I believe that we need to look at the bigger picture.
In essence, I see four principle strategic challenges, which are interwoven and interrelated:
The first of these challenges is the growing strength of the radical Islamist camp that is determined to change the world order and put political Islam at the leading position. This camp is made of two groups. The first – led by Iran, includes its Shia proxy Hezbollah, as well as notorious Palestinian Sunni Islamist terror groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad and it is intensively supported by Syria. This group regards the struggle against Israel as the main tool for promoting its strategic goals of gaining regional and global power. The members of this group are accumulating unprecedented capabilities to hit Israeli civilians with short, medium and long range rockets and missiles. There are already more than forty thousand rockets and missiles in the hands of Hezbollah alone – many of them provided by the Syrian destabilizing regime, and several thousand rockets in the hands of the Palestinian terror organizations in the Gaza strip. These rockets have longer ranges, heavier payloads and better accuracy compared with the rockets these terror organizations had in 2006 and 2008, when they last forced us to take decisive action against them in a way that deters them until now from putting our readiness to engage them again to a test. This radical Islamic group has also strengthen its regional influence, by gaining power in Iraq, Sudan and elsewhere, while defying the international community, so far with only limited repercussions. The decision of Turkey to come closer to this camp is a clear reflection of the growing strength of this radical camp as well as a manifestation of the political identity of the Turkish leadership. Anyhow, if Iran will succeed in obtaining the ability to become a military nuclear power, in spite of the free world efforts to stop her, this growth of the power of radical Islam will get a tremendous boost.
The second group of radical Islam is made of Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and their affiliates, who prefer to focus directly on the US and its presence in the Middle East. This group continues, despite the difficulties it is facing, to constitute a painful threat to the free world.
The success of the radical camp is to a large extent a result of the asymmetry of modern warfare. While the free world has to adopt a strategy that leads to victory in the most comprehensive meaning of it, a very demanding and at times frustrating mission, that requires a whole of government approach and a lot of patience, the radical groups follow a “don’t lose” strategy that is much easier to succeed in. This success can be seen through the growing interest of the West to minimize its presence and influence in the Middle East, to engage the radical Islamists while avoiding even calling them by name, instead of confronting the radical Islam. With this in mind regional radical or radicalized powers like Iran and Turkey are already busy feeling the void that will be created as the West pulls out, taking advantage of the weakness of most Arab states.
The Radical Islam strategic threat is clearly one that threatens the very core of our liberal existence and our common basic values; the basic rights of man, the rights of women, religious freedoms. This is an ideology that disregards the great mass of civil liberties we all take for granted.
The second challenge is the ongoing efforts to de legitimize Israel and dehumanize the Israelis in the international arena in order to isolate Israel, weaken it and deprive it from the ability to defend itself. This is self-evident in the diplomatic world, certain elements of the media and the Academia, and endemic amongst NGOs who control the Human rights discourse and abuse it in order to bash Israel. The biased and flawed Goldstone Report as well as the reaction to the provocative flotilla are perfect examples of the double-standard Israel is held to. This assault on Israel’s legitimacy is moving from the margins of the political discourse to its center, thanks to an unholy alliance between radical Islam, radical Arab nationalists and radical and naïve liberals in the western world. The rapid condemnation of Israel by international entities including European ministers, long before the real picture of what actually happened on the Mavi Marmara ship was clear to the Israeli authorities themselves, let alone to those who hurried to condemn us, gives all those who believe in justice and fairness a lot of food for thought. When there is a totally false and unbelievable attempt to draw a line that connects the fate of the black population in south Africa in the apartheid time with that of the Palestinians by people who are committed to Israel’s security and when this kind of people speak about the terrible humanitarian situation in Gaza in spite of the fact that there is no shortage of consumer goods or medical needs in Gaza it reflects how successful the lies of the de legitimizers are in shaping the way important groups of people in the West think about Israel and the Middle East. The world talks about Israel’s right to self-defense, however, I pose the question: What is a right if one cannot exercise that right? As the former Chief of Staff of the IDF, I assure you, that the Israeli forces operate in strict accordance with a code of conduct whose values are based on the principle of sanctity of life. This code of conduct demands that our soldiers refrain from harming civilians, risking their own lives in the process. And all this while our enemies deliberately cower behind their own civilian population, using children as human shields, as well as converting mosques and schools into launch pads for their indiscriminate rockets that target civilians. Any military move we make to defend our citizens is being turned into a “war crime” and misconstrued in a concerted effort to undermine the very legitimacy of the State of Israel. This campaign is undermining the efforts of each and every freedom loving democracy in their battle against radical Islamic terrorism, whether it is in Gaza, Afghanistan or Iraq.
This delegitimization campaign leads me to the third challenge, which is to a large extent based on some of the lies of the de legitimizers and this is the fact that the Palestinian export narrative has dominated the international approach to the Palestinian Israeli conflict. According to this narrative the conflict is about territory and therefore it can be easily solved. The only reason it is not solved is Israeli settlements and stubbornness. The Israelis should therefore be forced to make concessions and withdraw to more or less the ’67 lines or else the ‘two state solution’ will vanish. Since, according to this narrative, the Israeli Palestinian conflict is the core reason why the Moslems don’t like the West, the Israeli policy is the reason why the long awaited great reconciliation between East and West is postponed. As a matter of fact all of these elements are misconceptions and adopting them is precisely why we are stuck in a dead end.
Let me briefly explain why these are misconceptions. First of all we have to realize that the Israeli Palestinian conflict is not the core for instability in the region. It is one of many conflicts in the region and not the dominating one. The dominating conflicts in the region today are: Islamic- Jihadism against the West; the Shia- Sunni conflict; the Persian- Arab conflict; the internal conflict between nationalists and Jihadists, or generally speaking, the conflict between Middle Easterns who believe that happiness is achievable in this world and those who preach for happiness in ‘the next world’, to be achieved by martyrdom (‘Istish’had’), and the killing of infidels (non- Moslems). The real core of instability is the Iranian regime whose ideology is turbulent in nature and cannot accept the idea of stability that it considers as a ploy to prevent it from changing dramatically the prevailing world order.
Then there is a myth that the core of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict is ‘occupation’. In the West, the term usually means the territories Israel conquered in the Six-day War in 1967, but many Palestinians- from all the groups (Fatah, Hamas, PIJ, PFLP, DFLP, etc.)- and even some Israeli Arabs use ‘occupation’ to refer to all Israel (“from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River”). They consider Tel Aviv, Haifa, Ashdod, Sderot, Beersheba or any other Israeli city, kibbutz or village as a settlement in occupied territory and to all the Israelis as colonialists. We should remind ourselves that the PLO was established and launched terror attacks against Israelis before 1967.
Fatah and Hamas charters deny the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish independent state. This denial is demonstrated in Palestinian leaders’ rhetoric (to include Mahmoud Abbas), in the Palestinian educational curriculum, in their media, and of course, in the Palestinian strategy and policy. For example, in the preparations to Annapolis, the Palestinians refused to include in the declaration statement about “two states to two peoples”, they were ready only to say “two states”- meaning they do not recognize Jewish people’s right to an independent state, right affirmed again and again in the international arena. This refusal has not changed since then.
I claim that if the solution is a territorial compromise within the land of Israel (west to the Jordan River), a final settlement would have been achieved long ago. But the Palestinian leaders, since the dawn of Zionism till now, rejected any partition plan proposal and reacted violently to any political initiative calling to this kind of settlement. (1937, 1947, 2000).
So, the core of the conflict is not ‘occupation’, but the refusal of the Palestinian leadership to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a nation state of the Jewish people.
Professor Bernard Lewis put it right and articulately in his article published in the Wall Street Journal on November 26, 2007 (one day before Annapolis Conference): “‘What is the conflict about?’ There are basically two possibilities: that it is about the size of Israel, or about its existence. …If… the issue is the existence of Israel, then clearly it is insoluble by negotiation. There is no compromise position between existing and not existing, and no conceivable government of Israel is going to negotiate on whether that country should or should not exist.” I believe that we are a conceivable government.
The next misconception is about economy. Many Westerns believe that the key is in economy. They believe, as the founders of ‘Oslo’ believed, that prosperous economy can neutralize extreme nationalism and religious fanaticism, thus clearing the way toward peace and than toward a better security situation. I do agree that economy should be an important part of any strategy, but you cannot force the Palestinians to abandon their refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist as the nation state of the Jewish people or to admit that the Jews have rights and were linked throughout history with the land of Israel just because they enjoy a better economy and wellbeing.
Israel wants peace. Israel yearns for peace. And Israel has been willing to make concessions for peace. However, the real Palestinian narrative, the one used for domestic consumption, consists as you can see, of rejection of Israel’s right to live peacefully as the democratic and free nation-state of the Jewish people and of continuing the struggle against Israel in forms that change from time to time according to the circumstances. As long as there is no real focus, nor real pressure, on the Palestinians to end their incitement towards Israel and the Jews, their continuous glorification of terrorists and complete reluctance to educate their people for peace there is no reason to believe that a solution can be easily found.
The fourth challenge involves our relations with the US. Israel and America share a history of close – and to use President Obama’s words – “unbreakable” ties. We have the same peace-loving ideals. We stand shoulder to shoulder against the tide of militant/ radical/ Jihadist Islam, and when it comes to the fight against radicalism, we share more than ideals.
Cooperation in the intelligence and military spheres saves American lives as well as Israelis on a daily basis. Prime Minister Netanyahu often poignantly notes that radical Islam does not hate the West because of Israel. It hates Israel because of the West, because we are a democratic haven, a beacon of freedom, in a neighborhood which is not so open to such ideas! Therefore the fourth challenge is to maintain this close and special relationship, and to close the gaps that may have temporarily opened between us. This is crucial. Divided, we are weak, and our enemies will continue to take advantage of this. Only through unity can we defeat the forces of radical Islam, and only through unity can we succeed in empowering the moderate elements in Palestinian society, so crucial for obtaining peace.
In the coming months we are going to see decisive moments in each of these areas. On the Palestinian track, the Palestinian Authority will try to use the proximity talks in order to spend the time until September portraying Israel as the obstacle to peace and then blame it for destroying the chances for peace in the future by resuming the construction in the settlements as the freeze period comes to an end. They will try to promote the idea of a forced solution in the frame of a Security Council resolution that will establish a Palestinian state along the ’67 lines without them recognizing Israel’s right to exist as the nation state of the Jewish people and taking the necessary steps to provide security and fight terror.
In the context of the assault against Israel’s legitimacy we are going to see more attempts – in the form of more flotillas and in other forms – to provoke friction and deprive Israel from its right of self defense. The facts, as I mentioned, are that there is no humanitarian crisis and no shortage in consumer goods in Gaza, that our strict control over incoming products is caused by the extreme and violent nature of the inhumane Hamas regime that refuses to accept the quartet conditions for dialog, denies for four years any visits to our kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit and threaten our civilians, that the naval blockade is legal and that the flotilla was led by radical Muslim elements eager to embarrass Israel through the deliberate sophisticated use of violence. But these facts don’t suffice for convincing the free world to understand the real nature of the recent event and to fully support the state of Israel, and under this background the de legitimization effort gains momentum.
Regarding the radical camp – as the sanctions against Iran are implemented we shall know whether they will bear the wished for results or not. If not, and this is the much more probable scenario – we shall have to understand what does the international community mean by saying that “a military nuclear Iran is totally unacceptable”.
What is our policy on these issues? As I said we want peace more than anybody else, since we are living right in the middle of that volatile area and serve as the target of much of the violence. But we realize that obtaining a lasting and stable peace, a real peace, is not easy. It has never been easy, and it never will be easy. We therefore understand that in this case, just as in many others, the longer way is the shorter one.
From day one of this government Prime Minister Netanyahu has made it clear that we have no interest in ruling over the Palestinians. It is in neither our national interest, nor theirs. In his Bar Ilan speech PM Netanyahu recognized the principles of two states for two peoples while calling for direct negotiations. Hundreds of road-blocks, check-points and barriers have been removed – not a small matter from a security/military perspective, I can assure you. This government also implemented an “unprecedented” – to use Secretary of State Clinton’s language – ten month settlement freeze in Judea and Samaria. What did we receive in return from the Palestinians? We received their standard and predictable answer. We received the answer which we have received so many times in our short history. The answer for 15 months was a categorical “no”, as they piled on preconditions that had never existed in 17 years of prior negotiations. In addition to this rejectionism, the incitement against Israel and Jews continued, terror is still glorified; and the Palestinian education system is still shocking in its content. Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, in his recent visit to Washington was trying to please a Jewish audience by saying that he admits that there was a presence of Jews in the Middle East in the ancient days as this presence is mentioned in the Koran, but he rapidly denied a press report by the Israeli daily, Haaretz, that he acknowledged that the Jews have a right in the land of Israel.
The lesson we have to draw from this is that parallel to a ‘top down’ process, that by itself cannot produce a real peace, we must build the peace from the ‘bottom up’. It is about time that the Palestinian Authority began educating for peace, building a culture of peace, ending the incitement once and for all, as well as establishing functioning institutions that will enable real governance and economic development and real sustained effort to fight terror against Israel. We see some progress in this direction but it is focused on domestic law and order. The time has come that instead of glorifying suicide bombers and educating children to hate, the Palestinian people will be educated and prepared for peace. The Palestinian entity that will border the Jewish state must be secure and flourishing. Likewise, Israel has the right to demand that its security concerns are met. Following the withdrawals from Southern Lebanon in 2000, and Gaza in 2005, instead of receiving peace for land, Israel received rockets; tens of thousands of them. We will not make the same mistake again. Any Palestinian entity must be demilitarized and accompanied by an Israeli military presence on its Eastern borders. Israel will not allow porous borders and the unfettered influx of military material into its Eastern neighbors. We have to confront in this context another myth and this is that the 242 resolution calls for Israeli withdrawal to the ’67 lines. The truth is that the resolutions deliberately calls for withdrawal from territories and not from all the territories occupied in the Six Day War and this withdrawal should be to secured and recognized boundaries and not to the ’67 lines that were unsecured and reflected a certain situation on the ground in the end of the independence war.
Let me remind you in this context what our late Prime Minister Rabin said in his speech before the Knesset on October 5, 1995 (“Ratification of the Israel-Palestinian Interim Agreement”) – a month before he was assassinated – he stated: “We would like this to be an entity which is less than a state, and which will independently run the lives of the Palestinians under its authority. The borders of the State of Israel, during the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six Day War. We will not return to the 4th of June 1967 line.” In the same speech Rabin also emphasized that Jerusalem would remain Israel’s united capital.
Our government is committed to keep Jerusalem opened to all the religions united as the capital of the state of Israel.
Our government is readopting the notion that Israel’s vital security requirements- defensible borders, a demilitarized Palestinian entity, control of a unified airspace over Judea and Samaria , electro magnetic security, and international security guarantees – is the only path to a viable and durable peace with our Palestinian neighbors. In fact, ensuring a security first approach is the only avenue to a real peace.
The Palestinians must understand and internalize that just as we recognize the Palestinian national right to a nation state, so must they recognize ours. Any peace treaty must be accompanied by an end of claims by both sides. This means categorically renouncing the option of return for 1948 refugees into Israel, and recognizing the right of the Jewish people to live in peace and security in their nation-state. We are ready for peace. The question is: Are they?
Anyhow, bearing in mind the rift between Fatah and Hamas and the de facto separation between Gaza and the territory controlled by the PA, we are ready to move forward on the peace process with Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, while we seek an arrangement that will complete our disengagement from Gaza with minimal security risks.
While we continue to pursue our efforts for peace, Iran continues to pursue nuclear weapons. The Iranian regime have deceived the international community, dragged their feet, and sold nations false hopes of a diplomatic compromise. By persistently defying the international community, Iran is mocking the West. For Ahmadinejad, this is the name of the game – demonstrating that the forces of radical Islam are stronger than the West, in order to make Iran the new hegemonic power in the region and a world power.
Indeed it is the nuclear weapons program that has become the symbol of the regime, the symbol of radical Islamic defiance in the face of an international community that has finally awoken to this threat by adopting sanctions in the Security Council and on a bilateral basis.
Iran accumulates 4 kilograms of low enriched Uranium everyday. It already has 17 kilograms of Uranium enriched to 20% and more than 2.5 tons of low enriched Uranium. Iran may be only a year to three years away from a nuclear bomb, according to secretary of defense Robert Gates. Time is of the essence in dealing with this danger.
What are the implications of Iran that can acquire nuclear weapons? First and foremost, this is a very severe threat to Israel. Rafsanjani said that it would take one bomb to destroy the Zionist entity. Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called for the genocidal destruction of our country: “to wipe Israel of the map of the Earth”. The question is: Would the free world allow a state that is calling for the destruction of another state to obtain nuclear weapons?
This threat becomes even more pertinent when we remember the numerous Iranian shipments of arms to Hezbollah and Hamas and its meddling in the internal affairs of so many countries in the Middle East. It is unthinkable that Iran would be allowed to obtain nuclear weapons, thereby gaining the potential to transfer ‘dirty bombs’ to its proxies Hezbollah and Hamas, on our Northern and Southern borders or elsewhere to Europe or to the US.
A powerful, nuclear Iran would extend its sphere of influence with relative ease across the Middle East. Any American hopes of attracting Syria, Lebanon and Turkey away from Iran would affectively be dead as Iran’s regional hegemony would prove magnetic. Likewise, the moderate states would probably try to improve their relations with Iran to avoid threats to their stability, and at the same time, with the realization of a nuclear Iran, the ensuing process of proliferation will become inevitable. Can the unstable regimes of the Middle East handle nuclear weapons? How will it be possible to stop nuclear weapons from falling into terrorists’ hands, when nuclear programs appear across the Middle East?
Let’s be clear. The Iranian regime is looking for a new world order where radical Islam is the dominant force. Since a change from within in Iran seems to be remote, partially because of the free world cautious approach towards “the freedom movement”, We must stand united as strong, free democracies, in the face of this threat. The international community cannot afford to allow this despicable regime to obtain the ability to develop such weapons. Mr. Ahmadinejad and his regime must face the dilemma – the bomb or survival. This can be achieved through a combination of real isolation of the regime, painful crippling sanctions, moral support of the freedom movement and a credible military option. I’m quite convinced that when it faces this dilemma it is going to choose survival. To stand fast and hold onto this nuclear program would be unsustainable, isolating and potentially suicidal.
There is a need for a clear strategy based on moral clarity.
Jose Maria Aznar, the former PM of Spain, articulated in his article published recently in the Times. He stated: “What binds us, however, is our unyielding support for Israel’s right to exist and to defend itself. For Western countries to side with those who question Israel’s legitimacy, for them to play games in international bodies with Israel’s vital security issues, for them to appease those who oppose Western values rather than robustly to stand up in defense of those values, is not only a grave moral mistake, but a strategic error of the first magnitude.”
PM Aznar went on saying that: “Israel is a fundamental part of the West and that the West is what it is thanks to its Judeo-Christian roots. If the Jewish element of those roots is upturned and Israel is lost, then we are lost too. Whether we like it or not, our fate is inextricably intertwined.”
From an Israeli point of view, in spite of the magnitude of the challenges we face, I’m rather optimistic. I believe that Israel and the Jewish people, together with our allies, and primarily the United States, can stand up to these challenges. For that to happen we have to make the intensive dialog between Israel and the US deeper and based more on empathy on both sides. Both of them have to show more readiness to listen to the other and understand and respect the concerns and the logic of the other. There is room to believe that the coming meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu will send this message of closing the gaps.
My confidence stems also from the inspiration I get from the people of my country and especially our soldiers. What this young democracy has accomplished in 62 years in the realms of security, science, medicine, agriculture, and the arts, is nothing short of a miracle.
I gain my confidence also from the slow awakening of the free world to understanding the scope and the nature of the threats we all face. It is too slow, but it happens.
And I gain my confidence from your spirit and your relentless support to Israel. Let me convey to you our message from Jerusalem, our eternal united capital. It’s not only thank you but it’s a message that says that we have a lot of work to do now as Israel is facing the assault on its legitimacy. We would like you to help us in this war. We would like you to fight on our side. Unlike the war against terror or the war against the armies of radical enemies, in this war between truth and lies you can be very effective warriors and we need you to show up and speak out in favor of the truth.
We in Israel may be small but we are a great nation, as the Lord blessed Abram when he told him to leave his house and led him to the promised land of Israel and promised to bless those who will assist his people. We are right and our strength and resilience are based on our conviction that we are right. I’m convinced that our ideals, values and principles will prevail. I am certain that the free democratic regimes will overcome the challenge of tyrannical radical Islam. It is our freedoms, our liberties, and our democracies that strengthen us. It is our economic and academic freedoms that have given us the competitive edge; the creative energy to flourish. This is our faith that shows us the right way.
Now more than ever, I believe that the free countries of the world must stand together. We have a just and worthy cause to defend. Israel may be on the front line, but the scope and global nature of the threat we face is becoming apparent to all. We must face these challenges, together.
I would like to conclude with a prayer:
“ה’ עוז לעמו ייתן ה’ יברך את עמו בשלום”.
“The Lord will give strength onto his people; The Lord will bless his people with peace”.
God bless you all!
אתר "ליכודניק" הינו אתר לסיקור פוליטי. האתר עושה את כל המאמצים לאתר זכויות על תמונות וסרטונים. אולם, בהתאם לסעיף 27א' לחוק זכויות היוצרים כל אדם הרואה עצמו נפגע עקב בעלות על זכויות היוצרים של תמונה או סרטון מוזמןלפנות להנהלת האתר