Dr. Hagi Ben Artzi, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s brother-in-law, believes that the blow that Israel suffered in the Hamas attack in Gaza is greater than what it suffered in the Yom Kippur War.
In an interview with Arutz Sheva-Israel National News, he claimed: “Netanyahu also contributed to strengthening Hamas. The failure is huge – the rabbis were right, the generals failed.”
“Once again, we were surprised – and in a big way. The strategic surprise this time is much bigger, more severe, and more serious than the Yom Kippur War. That war was a war of soldiers between armies, and not a single civilian was hurt. Now, most of the victims are civilians, and an entire region of Israel is destroyed. The Israeli society, to a large extent, has lost faith in the Israel Defense Forces’ ability to protect the country’s citizens. This is really a much bigger and much more severe surprise,” says Ben Artzi in an interview with Israel National News.
- Ben Artzi has a clear answer to the question of responsibility, which comes up almost daily in Israeli society and does not spare criticism from the incumbent Prime Minister. “At least five leaders are to blame for the terrible attack that occurred on Simchat Torah 2023. The first to lead us to this disaster are former Prime Ministers Yitzchak Rabin and Shimon Peres, who brought the disaster of the Oslo Accords upon us. They brought tens of thousands of murderous terrorists into the Land of Israel, including Gaza, and provided them with the best weapons. The second is the Disengagement Plan, led by former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, during which the IDF not only withdrew from Gaza and relied on the state-of-the-art fence but also uprooted all Jewish communities from Gush Katif, which was the protector of the entire Negev and all of southern Israel. In doing so, he exposed the residents of the Negev and the area surrounding Gaza to this disaster.”
He adds that “obviously, the withdrawal from the security zone on the northern border, led by former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, exposed the residents of the Galilee to another disaster, which also caused the evacuation of tens of thousands of citizens in dozens of villages and towns. These are the founding fathers of this disaster. It is clear that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also a partner by contributing to the strength of Hamas. He released over a thousand murderous terrorists, who today are the Hamas leadership in Gaza and who planned and led this heinous massacre. Prime Minister Netanyahu is responsible for the prisoner exchange deal for the release of Gilad Shalit. In conclusion, this failure has not one but five responsible “fathers”: Rabin, Peres, Barak, Sharon, and Netanyahu. They are all responsible for this terrible failure.”
Ben Artzi points to the faults of these prime ministers and is asked why he does not mention the heads of the security forces, who are supposed to alert the political leaders of such an oversight. “The Prime Ministers are ultimately responsible. It is quite clear that the heads of the security forces throughout the generations are also responsible for a large part of the situation,” he replies.
According to him, “It’s not just what happened the week before the terrible massacre in Gaza. All the heads of the security forces, unfortunately, supported the Oslo Accords. They said, ‘It’s fine, the Palestinian Authority will fight Hamas,’ and in the end, we found out that they cooperated with them. The heads of the security forces enthusiastically supported the Disengagement that brought about this disaster, and they also supported the Shalit deal.”
- “The rabbis were the ones who cried out against the Oslo Accords, against the Disengagement, and against the unrestrained release of thousands of terrorists in the Shalit deal. In the end, they were right. Therefore, the conclusion from a broad observation of the overall picture should be that the State of Israel should go back and listen to the rabbis and not to the generals. I say this in pain because “looking back at the past thirty years, it becomes clear that the rabbis were right and not the generals and the State of Israel will not be revived if the heads of the state do not sit down again with the rabbis, listen to their opinion and consider it, just as David Ben-Gurion did,” he claims.
In his opinion, the possibility of releasing terrorists imprisoned in Israel must not be included in the deal of releasing the hostages. “The release of the terrorists in the Shalit deal, over a thousand murderers and abominable criminals, brought the terror of the last twelve years upon us, and especially the disaster of the Simchat Torah massacre. Then it was a thousand; today, we have two hundred hostages, and Hamas demands all the thousands of prisoners we are holding.”
Ben Artzi warns that “if God forbid, the State of Israel is tempted to agree to a similar deal, the next massacre will not be of 1,500 dead, but of 15,000 dead. The State of Israel must not consider releasing even one terrorist. This will be a great victory for Hamas. Not only did they murder, massacre, rape, steal and rob – they were also winning and releasing all their terrorists. The State of Israel must not even think of releasing a single terrorist. We will release our hostages as part of the war. Those we fail to release – we will say that 1,500 were killed – and this is part of the price the nation has to pay for its freedom.”
Is it necessary for Israel to occupy and control Gaza? Ben Artzi believes that the answer is clear. “Victory has one meaning – not only the elimination of Hamas but also full Israeli control over the entire Gaza Strip, from Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahiya in the north to Rafiah in the south.”
“Only military control of the entire Gaza Strip will not allow the resurgence of Hamas or any organization similar to it. Such control, as exists in Judea and Samaria, along with the restoration of Gush Katif and its rebuilding – will correct the situation. For many years, Gush Katif served as a buffer against the rise of Hamas and terrorism in Gaza. “Victory has no meaning other than the full return of the Jewish People, not only to Gush Katif but to full control of the entire Gaza Strip,” he concluded.
Source: Arutz Sheva