The fateful day is near. On the 1st of July next, Benyamin Netanyahu must engage the israeli annexation of a part of the west bank. Illegal under international law, this campaign promise by the israeli Prime minister, appointed in may to head a national unity government with his opponent and former chief of staff of the Idf, Benny Gantz, should allow him to mark definitely the History of his country. And to divert attention from its setbacks in court, while he is under the blow of a triple indictment for corruption.
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But this unilateral decision, made possible by the "peace plan" by Donald Trump on the middle East, is able to ignite the region. And to break the links already fragile between the State of israel, the palestinian Authority and Jordan. In Israel, former general of the israeli army, police and internal security services (Shin Beth) and external (Mossad) are sounding the alarm. Grouped in the organization of Commanders for Israel's security (CIS), a "political movement non-partisan" in favour of the two-state solution, they have launched this week an advertising and media campaign designed to warn the israeli public of the dangers of this initiative for the safety and security of the jewish State. At their head, the chief of the general staff retired Matan Vilnai, a former chief of staff, deputy of the Idf, who also served in 2007 as vice-minister of Defense under the First labour minister Ehud Barak, and then in 2009 under the tenure of Benjamin Netanyahu. In an interview with the Point, the hero of the yom Kippur war explains why the annexation of the west bank is contrary to the interests of Israel.
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The Point : What is the purpose of your campaign ?
major-general (retired) Matan Vilnai was chief of staff deputy of the Idf. He also served in 2007 as vice-minister of Defense under the First labour minister Ehud Barak, and then in 2009 under the tenure of Benjamin Netanyahu. © Rafael Ben-Ari/Cham/NEWSCOM/SIPA / SIPA USA / Rafael Ben-Ari/Cham/NEWSCOM/SIPA Matan Vilnai : This is to warn the israeli public against the great danger of the annexation. The Prime minister might have announced, from 1 July, a week of that fateful day, nobody in Israel really knows the real meaning of this word. The Commanders for the security of Israel are the only ones in Israel have studied its meaning. I remind you that we are composed of a 300-general of the israeli army, their equivalent within the Mossad and the police. We have been doing for several years of research on the topic, we have compiled it into a document. But no one in government has read it. Our goal is therefore to warn the Parliament, the executive, as well as the israeli citizens, including those who are walking in the street. We wish to tell them that, if until now there was no price to pay (to the israeli colonization in the west bank, editor's NOTE), this will not be the case with the annexation.
What is, according to you, what price to pay ?
The annexation is very dangerous for the security of Israel. We have so far a security coordination with the palestinian Authority in order to fight the Hamas and islamic Jihad (the Palestinians have announced the end of this security cooperation in anticipation of the israeli annexation, editor's NOTE). Another cornerstone of our security strategy is the anti-terror coordination with Jordan, which allows you to avoid attacks in our eastern border. I was myself present at the side of Prime minister Yitzhak Rabin when he signed the peace agreements with king Hussein of Jordan in 1994. However, the annexation would remove any such co-operation, which would endanger the security of Israel, and the palestinian Authority. This would benefit the Hamas militants who would then overthrow Ramallah. It would be a tragedy for all of us. In Jordan, in addition to halting the security coordination, the annexation would place the king Abdullah under enormous pressure, especially as the majority of the jordanian population is palestinian. This would be a great risk to our security in the near future.
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It is rumored, however, that Netanyahu could be satisfied in a first time annexing only the large blocks of settlements near Israel. Such a scenario will reassure you does it ?
perhaps This is what he will do. There is a tacit agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians on the fact that some of the locations (colonies, ED) such that Goush Etzion and Ma'ale Adoumim will be part of any way to Israel after an agreement. In my opinion, so it wouldn't be a true annexation. But the Prime minister has spoken to annex 30 % of the area (west bank). This will cause a reaction army, including Hamas, and in the end, we have no other choice than to conquer the entire territory, as before the 1993 Oslo accords. At that time, Israel will be forced to give citizenship to the Palestinians. It will then become a State with a palestinian majority and a minority in israel, which is in my eyes a great danger.
In this case, it will be apartheid, with people separate, which would be untenable for Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East.
The annexation does it anything to the israeli occupation already in force in the west bank, with a multiplication of the number of colonies in recent years ?
advertising Campaign Commanders for the security of Israel to sensibilier the Israelis against the dangers of annexation. © Commanders for Israel's security (CIS)This is not true. There has been no new settlements (Israel, however, has launched the construction of the new colony of Amichaï in January 2017, editor's NOTE). If the constructions have increased, that is, even within the colonies. But in the end, the situation remains calm and we do not need to do anything to change it. The annexation will not bring anything to Israel, or only a few minor changes at the level of municipalities. It is not worth it to endanger our security with the Palestinians, Jordan and Hamas. There is nothing that we cannot already do in the west bank.
In this case, what is the difference between an annexation immediately or in twenty years ?
there is a real distinction between the two. It is today one of israel's unilateral annexation, which threatens the relationship between the Israelis and the Palestinians, whereas, in the future, this will be the result of an agreement between the two camps. There will be a final treaty with the Palestinians, on the same model as the one that has been signed with Jordan and Egypt.
But the creation of a palestinian State is not impossible in the field in view of the continuation of the colonization in the west bank ?
The israeli colonization in the west bank. © AFPJe am certain that there remains a place for a palestinian State. The "peace plan" Donald Trump is not an agreement in itself, but a platform for negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. This is an important step for peace that burns in the marble the fact that these two peoples must live separate and apart.
the appointment of The former chief of staff Benny Gantz to the position of the minister of Defence can thwart the plans of Benjamin Netanyahu ?
I remember to have heard me say that the annexation would be a " disaster ".
Why does it in this case joined a national unity government with Netanyahu ?
This is politics, you know. This is why I left this world there was of years.
also Read "The peace plan from Trump can lead us to war"Updated Date: 22 June 2020, 10:33