Guess We Have To Remind Him That He Is Also Our Prime Minister!”
An interview with
Knesset member Uzi landau, Former committee chairman of the
By Shai Gefen
Golan is constantly mentioned in connection with Lebanon.
Unfortunately, Prime Minister Barak is pursuing his
characteristically flawed policies. He connects negotiations about
the Golan with the situation in Lebanon. The prime minister says
that in order to arrive at an agreement in Lebanon, we must first
leave the Golan. What we see is a prime minister who has adopted
groveling as a policy approach. He thinks that if he flees from
Lebanon, they will leave him in peace. But in truth, it will be
just the opposite. The State of Israel is conceding on the Golan,
which protects its security, without a ceasefire in Lebanon and
without any peace treaty — it’s just utter blindness.
We see the same approach in his negotiations
with Arafat. Barak is trying to give him a package consisting of
additional benefits, in order to mollify him before the upcoming
withdrawal. This is despite the fact, as it is known to all
experts in national security, that Arafat is behind organized
terrorism, and despite the fact that the Palestinian educational
system continues to teach its youngest students anti-Semitism.
There were reports recently about
anti-Semitism in Arab countries rivaling that of the
The propaganda they use against us is
exactly like that of the Nazis. These are known facts, which our
own people try to ignore. The Syrian newspapers equate Foreign
Minister Levy with Hitler. Mubarak, with whom we signed a peace
treaty, treats us like an enemy. Despite this, the prime minister
sends Danny Yatom to appease him. In its degree of hatred, Egypt
is on par with Lebanon and the Hizballah.
The obvious question is: How is it
possible for the prime minister to want to discuss peace with
Syria at all costs, when they equate us with Nazis, deny the
Holocaust, and send us the Hizballah? Simultaneously, we remove
our ambassador to Austria when Heider becomes chancellor! Heider
has spoken far less harshly.
Perhaps it is simply a means to keep the
This all points to something quite simple.
Barak believes that if he crawls to our enemies and offers
one-sided concessions, he will achieve true peace. It reminds me
of the parable of the man who thought that if he continued to
throw one sheep after another to the wolf, the wolf would become a
Is it possible that Barak’s problem is
simply that the date he gave for the withdrawal from Lebanon is
July 2000, and now he doesn’t know how to get out of the mess he
got himself into?
Barak has given many dates and tendered
endless promises. He gave Arafat a date for an intermediate accord
and then he gave a date for final accords; he guaranteed the
Syrians that he was ready to withdraw from the Golan Heights to
the June 4th lines. He is ready to recognize the Syrian control of
Lebanon; he is prepared to aid in bringing American assistance to
Syria, and he is ready to modernize the Syrian army – all this
before the Syrians inform us about what they are ready to do for
Barak has obligated himself on many fronts,
but there is one area in which he doesn’t care to promise
anything, and that is regarding the needs of the Jewish nation in
Eretz Yisroel. I guess we have to remind him that he is also our
The example you gave about the date for the
withdrawal from Lebanon is something we can look at as a general
approach. He concedes on every issue and every incident to
everyone. To my great sorrow, in recent months we have seen more
and more of his lies.
What are you referring to?
Until the beginning of the week, Barak
announced that he was not willing to withdraw to the June 4th
lines, and that he hadn’t given this kind of promise to the
Syrians. However, at a Knesset session this week, it turned out
that he was willing to withdraw to the June 4th lines, which will
give them complete control of the banks of the Kineret.
We have seen his two-faced dealings in other
areas, as well. Barak said he was not dictating to AIPAC and other
Jewish-American organizations to stop lobbying efforts in Congress
to move the American embassy to Yerushalayim. Now it turns out
that he did in fact make efforts to stop the lobbying for the move
Now there is a lobbying effort of the Labor
party in Washington, which is trying to get economic support for
Syria so that Syria will willingly agree to a peace treaty. He
denied this, and now it turns out he was lying.
Are you saying that Prime Minister Barak
is knowingly misleading the public?
When he was elected, he started with
trickery and lies. He used the system in order to circumvent the
law and twist it to his advantage. His lies are not only about
political and security issues, but even about economic issues.
The “old woman from Nahariya” is no
longer lying in the hallway of the hospital, because the prime
minister’s promises were not kept, and this led to her early
demise. Students continue to demonstrate because the prime
minister has not kept his promises. The same can be said of the
handicapped. Barak is leading the nation with lies and deceit on
Aren’t you impressed by the foreign
minister promising “blood for blood” and “a child for a
child” in the talk about the war in Lebanon?
We are finally seeing a minister in this
government who reflects the political views that all Israeli
governments have had until recently, namely, that we will
absolutely not allow them to hurt us, and whoever does hurt us
will pay dearly for doing so. The critical issue is that we have a
group of Knesset members who identify with the Hizballah enemy,
and one of them is actually Arafat’s advisor. They prevent open
debate in the Knesset, while the Knesset leader, Avrohom Borg,
allows them to derail the work of the Knesset.
Barak owes a lot to Israeli Arabs who
supported him in the elections.
He has obligations towards the Israeli Arabs
and has obligations towards Clinton, who helped him get his
position. When will he have obligations towards the Jewish nation
and its security?!
In your opinion, will Barak sign the
agreement with Syria?
Barak is ready to crawl and humble himself
in order to sign an agreement worth less than a penny, as long as
Asad’s signature is on it. Barak has no clue about negotiating.
He has no sense of history, and unfortunately, he has no
self-respect and no vision of the goals of the Jewish nation and
how to advance them.
Barak maintains that he isn’t the
first, and that four prime ministers before him paved the way,
from Shamir through Netanyahu.
That is an outright lie. Because although
Shamir went to Madrid, he didn’t agree to withdraw from the
Golan. Netanyahu agreed to compromise on the Golan, but he spoke
in terms of “miles” and not about withdrawing to the lines of
the 4th of June. Even Mrs. Rabin was disturbed by the fact that
her husband was portrayed as agreeing to the withdrawal to the 4th
of June lines.
When you look at the broader picture, you
see Barak’s lies time and again. He tries with all his might to
place the blame on others in order to justify what he is doing.
Everyone spoke about Barak as a war hero.
Of all people, how is he willing to undermine the security
of millions of Jews in their land?
Of course, on a personal level, he is a
hero, for he exhibited courage in battle. When you put him in
charge of a government, though, it’s another story entirely.
Heroism on the battlefield is altogether different than leadership
skills. When you read about the battles of the Jewish kings in the
book of Melachim, you see that there were kings who were
heroes on the battlefield, and losers when it came to leadership.
History is replete with people who were outstanding in their
strength but who brought tragedy to their brethren because of
grave errors they made.
Are you satisfied with what the I.D.F.
has been doing in Lebanon?
Absolutely not. Though, I do not blame the
I.D.F., but rather, the politics that the civilian government
imposes on it.
Soldiers say they feel like sitting ducks
and that they are not allowed to react.
I don’t like the term being used, but I
certainly agree that the Israeli government is shackling the hands
of the I.D.F. in Lebanon and is not allowing it to carry out the
necessary operations to properly protect the security of those
living in the north.
Can the I.D.F. leave Lebanon now?
The real issue now is not whether they are
leaving or not, but how we can change the rules of the game in
Lebanon. The change cannot be made with nice words such as, “We
will do all we can,” or “a child for a child,” or the like.
Priority number one is to let the mortar fire and planes speak for
themselves – to hit the Syrian interests in Lebanon directly,
steadily, and unremittingly, as long as Syria keeps operating
through the Hizballah.
Our approach lately has been that if they
inflict harm beyond a certain limit, and fell a large number of
soldiers, only then do we bomb them. This is an invitation to
trouble, which we should absolutely reject. We must keep attacking
Syrian interests in Lebanon, destroying important sites like
airports, power stations, water companies, and the media.
We should not be merely reactive when our
soldiers fall! We have to keep pounding away in order to create an
atmosphere of unrest in Lebanon, so that Lebanon ceases to operate
properly from an economic standpoint. When Lebanon’s economy
begins to falter, and millions of Syrian workers who are currently
employed in Lebanon stop sending their families in Damascus half a
million dollars, the Syrian economy will begin to hurt. [The
Syrians] will come to understand that hurting us doesn’t pay.
The fact that the Israeli government
wants to withdraw is well known. The question is what does Asad
want? Is he interested in this at all?
Some say he doesn’t want peace. It’s
possible he cannot sign an accord altogether. Then again, he might
be able to sign such an agreement, but he wants it on his terms.
His terms are that if we give him everything, and he gets a lot of
economic help from the U.S. and he can modernize his army – only
then will he be willing to agree to what we refer to as
That’s why we can’t be involved in this
at all. You have to understand that if, chalila, we
leave the Golan Heights, we are exposing Israeli citizens to grave
danger. From a security standpoint, the entire Galil will be
exposed to a sudden Syrian attack. We won’t be able to guarantee
the proper response at the right time in order to ward them off.
Barak talks about economic improvement,
if and when he signs an agreement with Syria. Is this correct?
That’s also a lie. Peace will cost dearly
from an economic standpoint. All the stories of economic
improvement are fantasies. The price of an agreement with Syria,
which will be 30-40 million dollars, will be paid for by Israel,
or at least a large percentage of it.
Before Camp David they also told us to
expect economic improvements. Those who remember know that
following Camp David, we went into the biggest economic slump
ever. Our situation will be much worse now because of having to
move military installations, paying for the costs of heightened
mobilization, dismantling dozens of yishuvim and taking
down flourishing enterprises. It will end up costing us billions
On Wednesday, the Likud Bloc will be
proposing legislation requiring a decisive majority in a national
referendum. Are you confident about the public’s opinion about
Public opinion can change at any time. I
would like to hope that when it comes to the Golan Heights, the
more the prime minister’s topsy-turvy approach becomes apparent,
as well as Asad’s abiding hatred for us, it will convince people
not to rely on this pathetic agreement.
You are accused of proposing racist
legislation in order to neutralize [the vote of] Israeli Arabs…
Why is that racism? Whoever accuses us is
assuming that Israeli Arabs will vote as a bloc the way he wants.
If so, he represents Israeli Arabs as mindless individuals who
don’t know how to vote.
I don’t know exactly how they will vote,
but I suggest that whoever brings up the issue of racism should
take a good look at himself. In my opinion, there are people among
the Israeli Arabs who do not agree with the idea of withdrawing
from the Golan because they will also be adversely affected. One
of the ramifications will be the government taking away property
rights in the Galil in order to reconstruct I.D.F. bases and
Where do you think the talks about
withdrawal from Yesh’a and the north are heading? We have spoken
about details up until now, but it seems as though something
deeper is going on.
First of all, this withdrawal is the result
of an attitude problem. Before we talk about politics and
security, we have to see where this idea of withdrawal is coming
from. Obviously, if we abandon the Golan Heights, Yerushalayim
will be on the agenda, too.
Actually, we are conceding Yerushalayim
right now. These concessions include illegal construction,
activity on the part of the Palestinian security forces in
Yerushalayim, and kidnapping of Israeli citizens.
Do you think Barak will divide
Barak will divide everything. From the
moment he mounted the slippery slope of concessions, he was unable
Can’t the government withstand the
pressure on such sensitive topics as Yerushalayim?
Unfortunately, in the past decade, not one
Israeli government has properly withstood Arab pressure, nor has
any government properly protected the interests of the Jewish
nation. I’m talking about caving in to the Intifada and playing
the game according to Hizballah’s rules. We accept nearly all
their demands and submit to whatever they demand, such as the
Palestinian demands to which we respond by giving them another
6.1% of the territories in Yesh’a right now.
When you look at all these concessions, you
wonder what has happened to the Jewish nation! The porter can no
longer bear his load and you ask yourself, why not? The answer is
clear: In recent years, the issue of justice has come up in
connection with our claim to Eretz Yisroel.
I think that the biggest weakness of recent
years has come about as a result of being alienated from our
Jewish roots and from the emuna that brought us here. Emuna
was the source of the strength that brought us here and gave us
the spirit to fight our wars. It really frightens me, because
aside from the dangers to our security, there is the palpable
danger of assimilation. That is what underlies our weakness. We
are in one of the most critical times our nation has experienced
in the most recent decades. There is no question that we must
return to that original spirit that sustained us, the spirit of
our Jewish faith.