At What price?
member Rechavam Zeíevi (Gandi) in a special interview with Beis
Moshiach calls upon Lubavitcher Chassidim to wake up!
By Shai Gefen
Zeíevi, what do you think of the Washington summit?
hasty invitation of Clinton is in order to see whether the dying
ďpeaceĒ process can be revived. Clinton is desperate for some
movement because his term as president is about to end, and he
doesnít want to leave office without achieving something in the
Middle East. He wants to get into the history books as the one who
brought peace to our region.
do you think is going on?
very clear. The process is paralyzed or frozen because of
Assadís refusal to accept Barakís capitulation. Ehud Barak
gave everything up, starting with the withdrawal from Chermon
until Chamat Geder; basically the entire Golan, except for joint
use of the Kinneret. Thatís a 90% capitulation, and somebody who
concedes 90% will give everything up in the end. The question is
only at what price?
donít like sudden trips to Washington like this one, and I hope
it concludes with news of nothing being accomplished once again,
and then things can quiet down on that front. Unfortunately we
have other fronts to fight on; no less important is the
Yehuda-Shomron region. Clinton will definitely push strongly on
that front too.
Clinton doesnít succeed in gaining a withdrawal from the Golan,
will he rush to conclude matters in Yesha?
and Barak, arm in arm, will pursue both fronts simultaneously,
hoping to accomplish something in both areas, or at least in one
do you think will happen?
I hope nothing, and that Hashem will watch
over us. Perhaps the Prime Minister, who has already lost all
dignity when it comes to standing up for our rights and
sovereignty, will stand strong at the final moment and will refuse
to agree to terms that will endanger, chív, the lives and
the future of the Jewish people.
do you explain Assadís refusal to accept the Golan Heights?
with Israel will bring many Israelis to Damascus and many Syrians
to Israel, something which Assad is not interested in. He
doesnít want his citizens to become acquainted with democracy.
addition, an agreement with Israel can bring down his rule over
Lebanon, and for Assad Lebanon is far more important that the
Golan Heights. The Golan is, after all, only a half of a percent
of the size of Syria, and is important to him primarily for the
Arab recognition he would gain thereby. On the other hand, Lebanon
is crucial to him, because a million Syrians work there and the
entire Syrian economy is tied up with the economy in Lebanon.
agreement with Israel will undermine the Syrian dictatorship. You
have to remember that Assadís family is part of the Elawi
minority in Syria, and when his son Bashir will be president of
Syria, he will find it hard to establish his rule since he isnít
as strong as his father. When Assad faced down a rebellion he
didnít hesitate to kill 40,000 Syrians in El Chama.
are all good reasons Assad has for not making peace with Israel.
kept telling us that Syria was very interested in peace. A
reporter of one of the big papers went to Damascus a few months
ago and brought back optimistic news.
kind of peace? To prove my point, I would make a dangerous
experiment in order show that Assad is not ready to sign any
agreements. I would offer the Kinneret to Assad, and then we would
see Assad demanding Afula and Chadera too. Assad, at the end of
his reign, is being offered the Golan Heights without a war, and
thatís great as far as he is concerned. His army is weak and
their weapons are outdated, and he wouldnít stand a chance
against the Israeli army. In the war of Peace in Galilee, he tried
to establish his air force and lost 80 planes in one day.
lately we have heard threats from the Left that if we donít come
to an agreement, we will be at war with Syria. Are you afraid of
war with them?
all. Assad knows better than both of us that he would be beaten in
war, that we would quickly win, and his government would fall
to speakers in the Knesset and in the media, and itís all
worthless talk. He doesnít have the military might to oppose us.
When Assad began building up his government, he spoke about a
strategic balance with Israel, without the need of getting help
from other Arab countries. However he has long since lost his
power because his backer, Russia, fell and he doesnít get
anything from them at all.
weapons have not been updated in twenty years. Israel, by
contrast, has the stature of a superpower in terms of the region,
and Assad knows the balance of power good and well. Heís no
fool. He is smart and clever like a fox. He threatens war because
he hears our media. He knows what to say to us because somebody
translates our papers to him and he sees and hears the Four
Mothers, and the Women in Black, who talk about imminent war.
donít like wars, even though I am a military man. I know for a
fact that we are not heading for war with them, and even if we
were, we would win anyway with Hashemís help.
you are not up-to-date on his plans?
information is up to date. I come from the highest ranks of the
I.D.F. I am a member of the foreign and security ministries, as
well as a member of the committee overseeing the secret and
intelligence services. I have a good understanding of the balance
of power, and the chances of the political situation changing to
an open military confrontation. With the authority of these
credentials, I repeat: Frightening us with talk of war is
claims that he wants every spot where a Syrian soldier tread,
which includes the Kinneret.
Syrians captured the Kinneret and El Chama in Ď48, which was
part of what was called Palestine, but it certainly didnít
belong to them. We captured it back from them after they attacked
us. The entire world knows that the victor dictates the terms of
peace. You must remember that the historic Golan Heights was a
part of Eretz Yisroel. There is no village without remnants of a shul.
Syrian rule in the Golan lasted from Ď 46 until Ď67, and we
have been ruling there more years than they - 32 years.
shouldnít we sign a deal of land for peace?
one of the stupidest mottos we have. In order to gain peace with
him, he has to get land from us! Anybody hearing that anywhere in
the world would simply laugh at the idea.
were headlines in the paper that quoted I.D.F. generals as saying
that withdrawing from Lebanon was dangerous. They spoke very
strongly against Barakís plans. What do you, a former I.D.F.
general, think about what they said?
certainly right. A one-sided withdrawal endangers us. However, I
donít like the fact that career army generals spoke to the
politicians appointed over them through the media and anonymously.
They are not allowed to do that.
should they have done?
have enough ways of expressing their opinion and using their
influence on the political machine. Let them bang on the table as
we did in my time. The senior military people in my time were very
critical of Prime Minister Eshkol and his Defense Minister Dayan
regarding going to war in Ď67. We thought that each day we
delayed, gave Egypt the ability to further fortify themselves,
which we would have to pay for in blood. I, as well as other
generals, met with Eshkol, banged on the table and yelled, but
under no circumstances did we fight through the media. If those
generals are afraid, and rightly so, of withdrawing our forces
from Lebanon, there are enough ways of expressing their position
and fighting for it.
was a general I had serious disagreements with Defense Minister
Dayan, but when he decided something, I carried it out 100%. The
generals must go and talk clearly and firmly with the Prime
Minister, who theoretically is our Defense Minister but does not
fulfill that task. I say these things to Barak even though he gets
angry with me for doing so.
can Barak get out of the pitfall he got himself into by setting a
date for leaving Lebanon?
an expert at getting himself into every possible hole. When he was
in the army he was able to avoid tainting himself with broken
promises, but when he got into politics he announced so many
promises that he cannot even begin to keep them all. He promised
to increase employment and to bring down the unemployment rate,
yet the unemployment rate rose. He promised to fix the situation
in the hospitals, but things only got worse. He gives promises and
dates for anything and everything, but has achieved nothing.
government is not functional, and even the party he built is
split, besides for his alliance with Dovid Levy. In his party
there are at least four people who see themselves as candidates
for Prime Minister, who are putting together their own camps. They
are waiting for a political ambush when Barak will break, and then
they will forge ahead. Thereís nothing to this man. The one
person who he supposedly clicked with is Clinton, who called Barak
a toy. It wasnít me in the opposition who called him a toy, but
the president of the United States!
you think Barak will survive politically?
no reason for him to remain, since he hasnít proved his
political maturity. A decorated war hero does not necessarily make
a good politician. He fell into power with a stunning majority,
not because of his successes, but simply because his predecessor,
mortar exploded near Moshav Margalit on the northern border. Is
that an indication of what will happen after the withdrawal from
donít respond immediately, our capacity for deterrence is
worthless. The Grapes of Wrath campaign was a campaign that was
headed in the right direction, but the Prime Minister at the time
came to an understanding that the terrorists would not operate
within civilian villages nor would they attack civilian villages.
This means that the only fair game is soldiers. In other words,
the Israeli government signed an agreement according to which it
permissible to kill an Israeli soldier and a member of the
Lebanese Christian Militia. Not only that, but the Hizballah
attacks civilians in opposition to all those agreements the
reaction ought to consist of hundreds of bombs in Nabatiya and
Tyre the very same day, in order to show them that the rules of
the game are not one-sided. We have to call an end to this. Today
itís in Moshav Margalit, and tomorrow itís the dining room in
Misgav Am. You canít fool around with these things. If you
donít react to the first shelling, our talk about deterrence and
ďour long armĒ are pointless. We are facing a corrupt enemy
with a high level of patience.
do you think will happen after the withdrawal from Lebanon, which
is being planned over the next two months?
opinion, the Hizballah will snipe at us till the security fence,
and if it can, it will also cross the fence. They proclaimed on
more than one occasion that their goal is Palestine and holy
Jerusalem. Today they are fighting us there because we are there.
Tomorrow, if we withdraw they will be able to send katyushas to
Chaifa and Acco. When we withdraw from Lebanon we will be faced
with an entirely new picture, one that is new and extremely
about Yehuda-Shomron? The situation there is no less serious than
the northern border.
Arafatís strategy is obvious. Itís to
get from the Jews whatever he can through peace, and only then to
resume the pressure and armed conflict until he liberates all of
Palestine. The Jews think that if they give him a percentage here
and a percentage there, that will be all. But it doesnít work
that way. He wants a Palestinian state by the end of the year. He
wants unbroken territory, not isolated areas on a map scattered
about. He already has a huge army. He is ready to announce a
Palestinian state, and then eighty or a hundred countries will
officially recognize it and thatís when the big battle will
can be done?
stop the runaway train. You just canít keep giving more
percentages away to Arafat without seeing an end in sight. I had a
serious argument with the army over their giving away the only
road leading to the Naguhot settlement to the Palestinians. The
military men explained to me that that they had to hand over to
Arafat those dunams as they promised, and so they had to
give him the road.
cause for concern from the situation as it unfolds. Arafat will
pressure us in order to receive more and more, and each time he
does he will come back and combine diplomacy with terror. He gives
Hamas the green light for their terrorist activities, and Hamas
has shown what they can do with Arafatís approval with the bombs
on the buses in Yerushalayim.
donít we hear public opinion about the withdrawals from Yesha?
week I told my fellow party members that I had a feeling that the
public had stopped being moved by withdrawals from Yehuda and
Shomron. It is most alarming. Once it was a subject which enflamed
people. The public doesnít understand that the heart of the land
of our fathers is Yehuda and Shomron. They recently gave 6.1% away
with no reaction. The media is held captive wherever that may be.
There is no nationalist bloc. The Likud stopped leading the
nationalist bloc. The Mafdal is held captive within the coalition.
We are the last remaining people to stand strong, and they are
silencing us, too. Do you hear me on the radio or in other forms
of the media? Do they let me speak?
situation within Israel will not be simple with the Israeli Arabs
beginning to rebel. Itís frightening.
Arabs are going through a Palestinization process. There was a
survey recently among Israeli Arabs that indicates this. Take for
example what happened at the universities of Haifa and Jerusalem.
The Arab students held three days of illegal demonstrations,
waving the Palestinian flag. The prevailing slogan was, ďWe will
redeem you Palestine with blood and fire,Ē and they sang
ďBiladi, biladi.Ē This all took place at Jewish universities,
which were built with money donated by Jews. They run our
universities, with the prevailing language at the university of
Haifa being Arabic. They come to the university from throughout
not reading the signs on the wall and I hope we regain our sanity
in time, for if not, we will be the minority. They will conquer
the country through democratic and demographic means. I know an
Arab who has 6 wives and 60 children. His neighbor has 9 wives and
67 children. The children receive a stipend from the Bituach
Leíumi from the taxes we pay.
in the midst of a very painful process, but the media is not
bringing this information to the public. It doesnít want to deal
with it. Does the man on the street today know what the town of
Rahat looks like? Does the public know whatís really going on,
and what happened at the university at Haifa, when the Arabs ran
the show for three days and rebelled, led by a 22-year-old girl?
what should we do with the Israeli Arabs?
donít fulfill their civic obligations: if they donít serve in
the army, they donít pay taxes (only 7% of them pay taxes), they
donít build according to the laws of planning and building ó
then they become residents and not citizens. They do not
have the right to vote or be voted for.
those loyal to Eretz Yisroel do anything about all this?
read the Rebbeís sichos continuously. Each day I am
impressed with the Rebbe all over again. Itís unbelievable how
he saw things precisely as they are first unfolding now. We have
all the answers from the Rebbe and we just have to read the edited
and unedited sichos to know what to do. Itís not
coincidental that in every paper Moledet puts out, I quote the
Rebbe. Why should we break our teeth when the Rebbe has been so
clear? From the moment I read what the Rebbe had to say for the
first time, my eyes were opened. My superiors and leaders speaking
about Eretz Yisroel were never as clear as he.
do you explain the great weakness of the Jewish nation. Was it
this way in your time?
contrary, in our time Golda Meir said there was no such thing as a
Palestinian people. We were raised valuing the land as our land.
Today they took our ancestorís land and turned it into A.B.C.
with no historic names and with no districts. Our generation is to
blame for not educating the next generation as it should have. We
did not succeed in instilling the values with which we were
did this happen?
media is monopolized by a group that influences the public with
its subjective opinion. Our nation is strongly nationalist with a
healthy sense of whatís what, despite the mediaís
brainwashing. The nation instinctively understands the need for
survival. You should speak with the simple man on the street and
tell him the truth and see how he reacts. The media is drumming
its positions over the years and naturally it exerts a tremendous
Women in Black are photographed and interviewed non-stop. We can
bring a thousand people and theyíll ignore it. This has been the
state of affairs for decades. They donít allow my voice to be
heard in their media. How may times in the fifteenth Knesset did
they interview Achmad Tivi and how many times did they interview
Rechavam Zeíevi? If they gave me 1/20 of the space and time I
would be satisfied.
canít give up. I turn to the Lubavitcher Chassidim who are the
ones who understand the terrible significance of what is happening
here, and ask that they get up and work for the sake of shleimus
haíAretz. We who know the Rebbeís sichos and are
cognizant of the Rebbeís vision, must pull out all the stops in
order to try and stem the tide and halt these dangerous
proceedings, promulgated by Barak and his government.
me when Chassidei and Rabbanei Chabad donít speak up enough. I
wrote a letter about this to Rabbanei Chabad a few months ago. I
painfully asked: Is this how the Rebbe educated us? The Rebbe
cried when he heard that they were tearing apart Eretz Yisroel. We
heard the Rebbe scream about the abandonment of Eretz Yisroel.
Lubavitcher Chassidim who are loyal to the Rebbe must join the
efforts for the sake of shleimus haíAretz and the future
of our people.