|Israel Resource Review
||7th Febuary, 2003
A Connecticut Yankee in the UN
Court: An Incisive Interview with Former UN Ambassador Dore
Special to the Connecticut Jewish Ledger
Dore Gold's motivation for making aliyah in 1975 was clear and
simple: Zionism. He has memories of his late mother Sedell,
active in causes on behalf of Israel; what he learned at a
tender age clearly stayed with him. Connecticut born, he grew up
in a Conservative home and attended Orthodox schools in Hartford
and East Hartford.
He majored in political science and Middle East studies at Columbia
University; his doctorate, done in 1984, was on Saudi Arabia. More than 16
years later, Gold took time from other work to add seven chapters to that
doctorate. It has just been released as a book â€" "Hatred's Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism" â€" by mid-February it will be in bookstores across the country. The book contains a major appendix of
supporting Saudi documents â€" most of which were found in Palestinian
Authority offices in Tulkarem (West Bank) and Gaza.
Since arriving in Israel, Gold has served the state in a variety of
capacities. Among his several roles has been senior research associate at the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, at Tel Aviv University; foreign policy advisor to former Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu; and Permanent
Representative of Israel to the United Nations. He served as an advisor to
the Israeli delegation to the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991, and was a
member of the Israeli delegation at the Wye River negotiations between Israel and the PLO in 1998.
Since March 2000, Dore Gold has been wearing the hat of the president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. This non-profit institute was founded in 1976 by the late Prof. Daniel Elazar, and structured according to his varied interests. Gold has reinforced the diplomatic focus of the center and now the entire Israeli diplomatic corps is brought in for briefings. There is also considerable outreach to American Jewry, with a high quality e-mail list, and the Daily Alert, written for the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, which goes to tens of thousands readers.
On a cloudy afternoon in mid-January, Gold sat down with this interviewer in his central Jerusalem office, and explored a variety of issues:
Asked if the position of Israel in the UN has improved in recent years, he
replied that there was an "artificial sense" that it had, but in fact this
has not been so. Things were thought to be better after the signing of the
Oslo Agreement in September 1993, yet by mid-December of the same year, 20
anti-Israel resolutions had been passed. And the Human Rights Commission in
Geneva has outright hostility to Israel.
One bright spot has been the work of American Ambassador Richard Holbrooke,
who worked to get Israel accepted into the regional group of Western European nations and others, which paves the way for greater Israeli involvement in UN processes.
What the UN provides for Israel that is positive is an opportunity for mixing within an international community. While the multi-lateral context is negative, Israel can make bi-contacts â€" with individual nations â€" that are constructive.
Gold believes the situation can change for the better if Israel decides to
work on breaking the bloc voting of non-aligned nations. These nations,
primarily from Africa, are disappointed with the Saudis and would like better relations with Israel, but they require courting: Israelis must pay them visits, their leaders must be invited to Israel.
He also sees the work done by Richard Butler of UNSCOM, the UN Special
Commission on Iraq, as something positive that has come out of the UN: Butler played an important role in seeking Iraqi weapons.
Regrettably, however, the sentiment in much of the UN, including in the
Secretariat, remains anti-Israel.
As Ambassador to the UN, Gold had contact with the Undersecretary General for Peace Keeping Affairs, and he remembers one incident in particular. A protest had been lodged against Israel for firing artillery 50 meters from the UNIFIL base (in Lebanon). When Gold researched the situation, he learned that Hezbollah had been shooting at Israeli forces from a mere 15 meters from the UNIFIL base, even though they were not supposed to do so. Yet the protest was lodged against Israel and not Hezbollah.
The problem, he explained, is that UN peacekeeping forces are often
under-equipped and under-manned. Facing great threats, they come to
under-the-table agreements with those who are threatening them, for
self-protection. This was true with Hezbollah in Lebanon, and with the Serbs in Bosnia.
The situation with UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency], he says,
is much worse, because UNRWA [which runs the refugee camps for the
Palestinian Arabs] itself is Palestinian, not comprised of outside forces.
Gold was serving in the army [reserve] and provided consultation on Jenin,
this past April when the IDF uncovered vast terrorist activity in the refugee camp there.
"We went into the house of an UNRWA worker," he recalled, "and there were
shahid (martyr) posters upâ€¦It was clear that UNRWA workers were doubling as Hamas operatives." Unless UNRWA disassociates itself from terror, he believes its efforts will be self-defeating.
Asked about Prime Minister Sharon's advocacy of a Palestinian state, he says it is a mistake to interpret Sharon's readiness for a state as meaning that Sharon agrees to Palestinian demands regarding their borders and powers. What Sharon has in mind is a state with limited powers; he is taking into consideration the components necessary for Israel's defense. This means that Israel would remain in security zones along the Green Line and in the Jordan valley, that a Palestinian state would not be able to sign treaties with Iraq or Iran, and that Israel would retain the right to control air space over the state.
Questioned further, he agrees that what he has just described conforms
precisely to what Foreign Minister Netanyahu has outlined for a Palestinian
administrative authority that falls short of actually being a state. There
is, he concurs, "a serious problem in calling it a state." For, if a
Palestinian state were to be established it would be impossible, as critics
of Sharon's position claim, to control it or restrict its powers. Asked about whether Sharon did this under pressure from President Bush, Gold simply says that calling it a state created for Sharon "a certain freedom to maneuver."
He suggests that "one should focus on the territorial assets and residual
powers Israel must retain," and then "consult a political lexicon" and give
the resulting entity a name.
Arlene Kushner is a journalist in Israel.
This piece ran on February 7, 2003 in the
Conneticut Jewish Ledger
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News Investigations of
Americans for Peace Now, the Courage to Refuse campaign and
Israeli Arab Holocaust Denial
1. Shalom Achshav: Malshin Achshav
Over the past month, the Americans for Peace Now have been conducting an
unprecedented campaign for a Jewish organization, and a member of the
Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations. The APN took out ads
in the Jewish media on January 10th and the APN director, Deborah DeLee, wrote
an oped in the Washington Post of January 21stWhen I asked the APN
spokesman if that means that APN will new oppose nursery schools and baby
clinics in Gush Etzion, the APN spokesman aid that children "should not grow
up in communities that they will not live in during a time of peace".
I wonder what "time of peace" he is referring to.
When I asked the spokesman of Peace Now in Israel about their organization
using a foreign government to attack Israeli gov't , The Peace Now
spokesman in Israel tried at first to say that Americans for Peace Now acts
independently of the Israeli office of Peace Now. And what about the $2.2
Million that APN provided for Peace Now political demonstrations in Israel
over the past two years? The Peace Now spokesman in Israel had no further
comment. Meanwhile, the APN spokesman in DC was clear about the fact that
their effort to lobby the US government against Israeli policy was
coordinated with Peace Now in Jerusalem.
The APN campaign has produced results. The Washington Post ran its own
editorial on January 31 in which it championed APN campaign on the
"settlements", and the Bush Administration issued a statement on February
4th in which it also endorsed that same campaign.
The Americans for Peace Now will now dispatch two delegates to participate in the annual visit of the Conference of Presidents Delegation to Israel that is scheduled for February 16th, where the delegation will receive sensitive briefings from Israeli government officials. Since the APN has established the fact that it sees its role as a lobby of the US government against Israel, the question remains as to whether the APN should be permitted to participate in such briefings or even allowed into Israel.
I asked for a comment from Malcolm Hoenlein, the conference director, but none was forthcoming.
2. Israel deserters group spokesman raises funds in North
America to subsidize IDF deserters
Amit Mashiah, spokesman for the Courage to Refuse campaign,
arrives in New York this Monday, February 10th, to raise funds
from church groups and Jewish organizations in the US and in
Mashiah says that funds will be allocated to build his organization and
to provide funds for IDF combat soldiers who would be arrested for refusing
orders to serve beyond the 1949-1967 armistice line, even in fierce combat.
All funds for the IDF desertion campaign are channeled through the IRS tax
deductible Shefa Fund in Philadelphia.
Mashiah also says that his organization would even provide finances for an
Israeli soldier who deserts his unit rather than pursue a PLO terrorist who
had just blown up a hotel in Netanya and taken refuge in an Arab village in
Judea, Samaria or Jerusalem, Mashiah states emphatically that any all IDF
incursions there would be illegal and immoral, even when pursuing a
terrorist. Mashiah explains that funds raised during his forthcoming trip
will be allocated for legal fees of the deserter and for a salary that would
come to 50% of the average wage in Israel during any jail sentence of a
In other words, Mashiah's Courage to Refuse campaign gives you a better
deal than the Israel Unemployment Office, which only provides 50% of the
minimum wage for many unemployed Israeli citizens.
Now we have a new reason for Israelis to wait for Mashiah.
One place that Mashiah is scheduled to speak is at the Kraft Center for
Jewish Life Hillel Foundation at Columbia University on February 18th.
When I asked the Columbia Hillel Director, as to whether it was appropriate
to invite a representative of the Israeli deserters group while Israel was
at war, he answered that the question was inappropriate.
When I asked the Hillel Director as to whether Columbia Hillel would
provide equal time for a speaker from Israel to refute Mashiah's claims
that Israel's policies in Judea and Samaria were "illegal and immoral", the
director slammed down the phone.
It is instructive to know how a major Hillel Foundation educates its
students about Israel during a time of war.
3. Israeli Arab peace group initiates a visit to Auschwitz with agenda:
to remove any knowledge of Moslem involvement in the murder of the six
This week, I covered a packed press conference at the Beit Agron Press
Center in Jerusalem where a delegation of Israeli Arab citizens, led by a
Catholic priest from Nazereth, announced their intention to launch the first
Israeli Arab study group to examine the "pain suffered by the Jews at the
hands of the Nazis during World War II".
The name of their new organization: "Memory of Peace".
So far so good.
A positive message communicated by Israeli Arab citizens to their Israeli
And then the kicker. Buried on the third page of their press release.
carefully written by a leading Israeli Arab lawyer, also from Nazareth, was
a stunning statement of their underlying purpose: to show the world that "
no Arabs or Moslems" were in any way responsible for the holocaust.
Well, the week before, it so happened that I visited a new center for
Holocaust documentation in San Antonio, Texas (Check it out at
www.holocaust-history.org) where I requested and received documentation
concerning the role of the Mufti of Jerusalem in the mass murder of the
The center provided 22 documented sources on the Mufti - how the Mufti
advised and supported Hitler's idea for a Final Solution, how the Mufti
helped to organize Moslems to participate in the mass murder of the Jews of
Bosnia, how the Mufti visited the death camps, how the Mufti had taken
refuge in Hitler's bunker, and how the Mufti had been tried in absentia for
crimes against humanity and that the Mufti had ultimately escaped justice
when French intelligence had helped him to escape to Cairo in 1945.
With this background material in hand, I asked the Israeli Arab holocaust
study group if they would devote themselves to learn more about the role of
the Mufti and the Palestinian Arab community in the murder of European
Jewry. I also asked them if they would delete their statement that neither
Moslems nor Arabs had anything to do with carrying out the crime of the
The Israeli Arab holocaust study group would not commit themselves.
It would seem that a new form of Moslem holocaust denial was launched this week,made in Israel.
Excerped from the Makor Rishon, a weekly
news magazine published in Petach Tikva, Israel
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Interview with IDF Commander in Chief Moshe Yaalon
"In the Next Few Weeks, an
Earthquake Will Take Place"
Interviewed by Alex Fishman
Military Correspondent, Yediot Ahronot
Question: Are the Americans deployed in the Gulf with
sufficient forces to enable them to land a crushing blow on Iraq already?
"So it seems. They are capable. When the command is given."
Question: So you do not intend to instruct the citizens
to raise the level of alert, to start walking around with masks
starting next week, to prepare sealed rooms?
"No. When we reach a situation when we see a reason to raise the
alertness, we will tell the population to prepare for the worst case
scenario, even if there is extremely low probability of it taking place."
Question: The assessments speak of the US strike
beginning in the middle of February, the end of February or the
beginning of March. Do you accept these assessments?
"More or less."
Question: So is it not worthwhile, in any case, to give
people instructions to prepare, at least two to three weeks in advance?
"No. Not yet."
Question: You will only give people instructions prior to
the confrontation itself?
"Yes. We are continually carrying out situation assessments, and
checking ourselves every day. When it is necessary-the instructions will
Throughout the entire interview, Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Moshe (Bugi)
Yaalon projects the feeling that the Iraqi threat is very low. When he is
asked to try to outline the worst case scenario-in the event that it should
take place-of Scud launching or large terror attacks during the
confrontation in the Gulf, he refuses. He fears that every description of
his will lead to provocative and disproportionate headlines. "Still," we
insist, "What will happen here, according to your understanding?"
Yaalon bursts out laughing: "What will happen? I'll tell you what will
happen. The media will deal with threats. It will shower us with smallpox
and various kinds of threats. We have already been through several such
Question: Are you saying that the probability for any sort of occurrence is
"We must be cautious. If the probability is negligible, there is no
need to prepare at all. What we are saying, is that there is very low
probability. That is all. And we simply do not have to deal with it so
much. I have already said several times: It is not the Iraqi threat that
worries me. There are threats that concern me much more, such as the
nuclear potential that is being built up in some of the countries in the
region, and the fighting with the Palestinians. You are just hunting for
headlines, and it is unnecessary."
Question: After Powell's speech, is there room for a change in our situation
"The main components upon which the situation assessment is based have
not changed, and therefore there is no reason for a change. The assessment
is that there is a low probability that we will be attacked."
Question: This week it was published in The Guardian that the Iraqis have
succeeded in stationing long range missiles in western Iraq. Does Israel
have information about this?
Question: Is there any new intelligence information, an indication of the fact
that they are doing something in western Iraq that should concern us?
Question: Is the Iraqi deployment in western Iraq today similar to what it was a
Here the response is more complex: "It is not what it was a year ago,
but it is much less than what we saw in the Gulf War in 1991. The main
thrust of the Iraqi deployment today is around Baghdad."
Question: Then why should we be concerned?
"They can move equipment, they can fly a plane. We are not just talking
about western Iraq. But the probability is very low. We will have to
reach a very extreme situation so that a decision will be made in Iraq to
employ measures against us. It would have to be a state of desperation.
And therefore we must presume that in such a state of desperation, Saddam
will still have the capability to employ something against us. That is a
very extreme situation, and therefore the probability is low. But we must
be prepared. And therefore our arrays-in passive defensive, in active
defense and in offensive capabilities-are prepared for the possibility that
this will take place."
Question: According to your understanding, is the US strike certain?
"We have been operating for months under the working assumption that a
US strike will take place in Iraq. I will be surprised if it does not take
place. The circumstances lead me to the conclusion that it will take place."
The option for a response is ready
Another issue that the chief of staff tries to circumvent-with the
explanation of possible damage to the relations between Israel and the
US-is the issue of coordination between the two countries prior to and
during the confrontation.
Question: Are you satisfied with the "protection package" that the Americans are
supplying us with in western Iraq?
"The State of Israel is an independent state. It must, first and
foremost, take care of itself. All the rest is a bonus."
Question: Why don't the Americans want to give us the specific operational details
that will enable Israel to respond if attacked?
"I am not sure that you know everything."
Question: We are called upon to exhibit restraint. Still, what are our "red
lines"? What would you define as a harsh blow, one that would require a
response from us?
"The Americans would be very glad if we were not involved. But the
State of Israel must be prepared to defend itself."
At this point, the chief of staff reveals an inkling of his outlook on a
situation in which Israel is attacked during the confrontation in the Gulf:
"A state that is attacked has apparently not deterred sufficiently. It
must rebuild its deterrence."
Question: Is the Israeli option for an aggressive response in Iraq prepared and in
Question: Will you, contrary to Israel's restraint in 1991,recommend to exercise
"When the time comes, we will hold the discussion. But we are prepared."
Question: Are the IAF and IDF in a state of complete preparedness today?
Question: Have you reached the highest degree of preparedness? There are no
shortages? The units have undergone all the necessary training?
"That is correct."
Question: Is the anti-aircraft deployment complete?
"Not yet. But all the equipment is prepared and in working order."
Question: In other words, the next stage is merely to declare a raise in the level
"That is correct."
Question: What is the probability that during the confrontation in the Gulf
Hizbullah will open a second front from the north?
"At the moment, I do not see an interest in an escalation on the
northern border, not on the part of the Syrians, nor on the part of
Hizbullah or other parties involved in Lebanon. On the contrary, I
actually see elements of restraint. What will happen after the American
strike? That depends on the results."
"The situation in the north, in any case, must change. Lebanon has
become a platform in the service of the Syrians and Iranians-both for
creating tension and a threat in the north, and for operating Palestinian
terror. In fact, Lebanon is utilized as a platform, on the back of the
Lebanese state,for applying pressure to the State of Israel."
"At the moment, the situation in the north is relatively stable. This
stems primarily from our deterrence; from a Syrian fear that an escalation
will occur, and then the Syrian army will have to stand a test against the
IDF. And that is an arena that the Syrians do not wish to enter. On the
other hand, Hizbullah is constantly required to explain why there is quiet.
Therefore, it occasionally carries out some sort of incident or terror
attack in the north. It takes responsibility for some of these, and does
not take responsibility for others."
"In addition to the Israeli deterrence,an additional element in the
present period is the threat of a US strike against Iraq. Neither the
Syrians nor the Iranians or Hizbullah wish to ascend to the top of the
American's list for the axis of evil. And this is a restraining factor.
The last time they tried to escalate was during Operation Defensive Shield.
But when we began to mobilize reserves,they calmed down."
"I don't think there is a structured, unavoidable process of military
conflict between us and Hizbullah in the north. But there must be a change."
Question: How? Through a political,Lebanese and Syrian decision? By military
"Correct. Those are the possibilities."
Question: Military activity on our part?
"That is correct."
Question: Have we made it clear to them, that if they try to escalate the
situation on the northern border during the confrontation, we will take
action at a different level of force than what they have known in the past?
"That is what they assume. The Syrians, in my opinion, are quite wary
of facing the IDF. That is the way I read the picture. And therefore
there is deterrence."
Question: Do the Syrians have reason to believe that if Hizbullah exceeds the
limits of a restricted confrontation in Har Dov, they too could pay a
"Certainly. We have already attacked Syrian targets in Lebanon over
smaller issues. The Syrians are responsible for what happens in Lebanon.
Syria uses the Lebanese weakness to gain quiet in the Golan Heights. As a
compensation, it creates tension on the Lebanese border, at the expense of
the Lebanese state."
We will wait and see
The Palestinian press is currently reporting fear of an Israeli move
against the residents of the territories during the confrontation in the
Gulf. They speak of a firm hand, of the possibility that Israel will
occupy Gaza. The Palestinian street is stockpiling food and medicines, for
fear that supplies will be blocked off. The hospitals are preparing. The
Palestinians speak of a possibility of transfer, expulsions outside the
territories and within the territories. Lebanon, too, has increased the
supervision over its border to prevent the expulsion of Palestinians to its
Question: Did you give the Southern Command and Central Command special
instructions for action in case of an increase in the number of terror
attacks during the confrontation in the Gulf?
"We will wait and see. There are a lot of plans. We are prepared for
every eventuality and will implement what is right. We will wait and see."
Question: How, in your estimation, will the Palestinian arena behave during the
war? Is an increase in the activity against Israel expected? Is there
information on preparations for mega-terror attacks during the confrontation?
"All the organizations would already be carrying out severe terror
attacks,if they only could. Therefore, I see no change in the situation in
light of the confrontation in Iraq. The fact is that for several months,
they have not succeeded in recreating the month of March 2002, in which we
had 135 dead in a series of severe terror attacks-until the seder night
massacre. In other words, terror is not succeeding in supplying the goods
that it aspires to: A sufficient number of Israeli casualties. Our
military activity is mainly offensive, within the cities, within the
refugee camps, within the casbahs, in the heart of the Gaza Strip-when
necessary. Arrests, finding weapon workshops and the like. This causes
them, ultimately, to deal with their own survival and makes it difficult
for them to carry out the terror attacks."
"Only last week, around election day, they intended to carry out a large
number of terror attacks. In Jenin, for example, they planned to send a
car bomb to one of the cities in the heart of the country on election day
Question: Is this the same car bomb with 400 kilograms of explosives, that was
detonated in the Umm el-Fahm area?
"No. This is a different car bomb. Inside Jenin, we found four car
bombs that they prepared. One was supposed to be sent around election day.
We found the people behind the car bombs. The head of Islamic Jihad in
Jenin was killed at that time. In Nablus, we obstructed the intention to
carry out a suicide bombing around election day. They fired Kassam rockets
from the Gaza Strip, since they were not able to initiate terror attacks
Question: I understand, from what you are saying, that you believe the peak of
terror to be behind us.
"With regard to their motivation and intentions to carry out terror-no.
But with regard to their capability-the answer is yes."
Question: Then you see the light at the end of the tunnel. You actually see the
end of the fighting.
"Yes. I see a chance for an end to this round of violence in its
[present] characteristics. But not an end to the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict. Nor will terror disappear completely."
Question: You have said, on various opportunities, that 2003 will be a decisive
year in the Palestinian arena. What did you mean?
"In recent months,since Operation Defensive Shield, several interesting
processes have taken place in the Palestinian arena. From the onset of the
terror offensive in September 2000, which reached its peak in March 2002,
they have arrived in recent months, in light of our military activity and
other factors,at a situation of internal discussions on a cease-fire.
First discussions within Fatah, then between Fatah and Hamas, and now the
Cairo talks as well. There is a substantial number of significant elements
in Palestinian society and the Palestinian Authority who understand that
terror is not bringing them where they expected,and they are willing for a
cease-fire. This is a very significant process."
Question: Your idea, then, is that the failure of the Intifada must be imprinted
on the Palestinian consciousness?
"I claim that this process exists. Every day that goes by they pay a
higher price. For example, a very interesting phenomenon has been
happening over the past week: PA officials have been preventing the
launching of Kassam rockets from the Gaza Strip. They are not fighting
terror, but officials from the Palestinian police and security services are
trying to prevent rocket launchings, since they fear that we will take
action in the same way we operated in Beit Hanoun and in the heart of Gaza.
This proves that they understand that launching the Kassam rockets does
not, apparently, bring benefits, and they pay a price for it."
"There is one element who opposes a cease-fire and still thinks that
terror will break Israeli society. He sits in the mukataa. Surrounding
him there are people who think and understand differently."
"In any case, this decisive year that I am talking about does not only
have to do with our military achievements and internal Palestinian
processes, but also to the fact that in the next few weeks there is going
to be a regional earthquake here: the American offensive against Iraq.
After it, I believe, there will be a new balance in the region. A new
structure. A successful American offensive will have a positive effect and
will strengthen all of the pragmatic parties in the region. If the
offensive is not seen as successful, it will have a negative effect on our
arena. I want to remind you that the previous Intifada ended in 1991, in
the Gulf War."
Question: There are more and more reports of harm befalling Palestinian civilians
during operations in the territories. Have they reached you?
"I suggest that we not make too much of this. There are not that many
incidents of this type. Many of the reports are false Palestinian
propaganda. In any case, in every report of Palestinian civilians killed
or wounded, the investigation reaches me. I receive a preliminary
investigation into any such incident within 72 hours. This is an
investigation carried out by the brigade commander, and it passes through
the division OC and the command OC. Not more than three weeks after the
incident takes place the commanders come to me, and I look into it. In
some instances we find that the Palestinian reports were false. In others
we reach the conclusion that we should dismiss certain commanders or
court-martial others. Harming innocent civilians is firstly a matter of
morals and values, and we cannot permit ourselves to let this happen. I
deal with it personally.
"The Palestinians use this in a crooked fashion. The Amnesty report,
for example, attributed to us dozens of children killed. When you look at
the details you see that their list includes suicide bombers under the age
of 18. Two weeks ago I received a report regarding an 11-year-old boy who
was killed in Nablus by fire from our forces. It turns out that he was hit
by a fragment of the bomb that he and his friend were setting off. On the
same day I looked into another matter in which a tank commander acted
improperly. By the time the report reached me the battalion commander had
already told me that this commander was already in jail."
Question: You changed the style of General Staff meetings. You hold discussions
according to subject. For example, two weeks ago you held a meeting of the
General Staff at the Democracy Institute on the subject of ethics, law, and
morality. What is the problem? Do you find yourselves in a moral quandary?
"It is not a quandary. But I believe that the reflection of the army's
behavior in the Israeli media, of the moral dilemmas that commanders face
during combat, is one that is skewed. Most of the time we find ourselves
attacked as if we freely harm innocent civilians."
Question: In the Southern Command the procedure for opening fire is much more
flexible than in the Central Command.
"First of all, the orders there are not more relaxed, and they received
the approval of the General Staff. In the Southern Command, you must
understand, there are special security areas along the fence. When there
is a fence in Central Command, these procedures for opening fire will be
valid in Central Command as well."
Question: You said in an interview five months ago that if you had the money to
build a separation fence on the seamline you would use it for something
else. You are not thrilled about the idea of building a fence.
"From the beginning of the debate about the fence I have said that we
should either build the whole fence, or we should build nothing."
Question: That is to say, you oppose going halfway, not the idea of a fence.
"Let's make do with the answer I gave you."
Question: If the matter of the fence is so important, you could have at least
decided in the meantime who is in charge, in terms of command, of the
"Ask the one who is supposed to make the decision. I already made a
decision that the army should be responsible for the seamline."
Question: So what is delaying the decision?
"It falls between two government ministries: the Defense Ministry and
the Ministry of Internal Security.
This appeared in Yediot Ahronot on February
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