Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Occupation Not 'Root' of Conflict

Former IDF Chief of Staff, Moshe Ya'alon, in his address to the Herzilya Conference yesterday, devoted a significant portion of his lecture to countering the false assumption that ending the occupation of the West Bank will solve the conflict. He noted that the Palestinian government and Hizbullah are seeking Israel's destruction, not just the end of the occupation.
"The fact that Israel was attacked last summer from two areas it left strengthens the sense of a dead end, and proves that the root of the conflict is not the occupation of territories," Ya'alon said. And he pointed out that Hizbullah's aim was not to liberate Lebanon, but rather to destroy the State of Israel, and that the same was true of the Palestinian Hamas government with regards to the territories. Ya'alon criticized the UN for not punishing Hizbullah, Syria and Iran for their offenses during the Lebanon war.
Ya'alon also emphasized that the Arab world has much at stake in this conflict too. "The clash of civilisations is also going on inside the Muslim world. Not all Muslims are jihadists," Ya'alon emphasized. "They too see what is happening in Gaza, and recognize that the culture of death is destructive. The West and Israel must make contact with them."

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