Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Sunday in remarks to the Cabinet that regional security threats are not “on hold” as he works to form the next government coalition, which he vowed would be as “broad and stable as possible.”
In his opening remarks at the start of the regular weekly Sunday Cabinet meeting, the prime minister connected the current threat to Israel to that faced by the Jews who were nearly wiped out by the Nazis during World War II, a genocide memorialized by the world today (Sunday) as International Holocaust Day.
“In the perspective of the almost 75 years that have passed since the Holocaust, what has not changed is the desire to annihilate the Jews,” Netanyahu noted. “What has changed is the ability of the Jews to defend themselves.
“This ability finds expression in the state, the military and the security services – and in our willingness to act against those who come to destroy us. This ability is the difference between what was then, and what there is today,” he said.
"Nobody will defend the Jews if they are not ready to defend themselves; this is another lesson of the Holocaust. It is impossible to rely on separate and independent action to defend the Jews if the Jews will not defend themselves,” Netanyahu pointed out.
Specifically, he mentioned the need to “deal with Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the possible transfer of Syrian weapons.”
Speaking to ministers who are likely to be shuffled around in the near future – and some of whom may lose their jobs – Netanyahu nevertheless warned, “The entire region is raging.
“We must be prepared, strong and determined in the face of any possible development,” he said. “That is why I will strive to form a government as broad and stable as possible – to deal with all the significant security threats facing Israel.”
The comments were also likely aimed at the White House, which resumed pressure on Israel to revive direct final status talks with the Palestinian Authority to reach a “two-state solution” based on the 1949 Armistice Line, known internationally as the “1967 border.”
The peace plan being advocated by the Obama administration includes dividing Jerusalem, Israel’s ancient capital and Judaism’s eternal and holiest city, between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
It also includes handing over Gaza, Judea and Samaria.
Nearly 10,000 Jews were expelled from their homes in the Gush Katif section of Gaza and northern Samaria, and all IDF forces withdrawn from the region by the Israeli government in the 2005 Disengagement from Gaza.
In response, the move was followed by years of constant rocket and mortar fire rained down upon Jewish cities and towns within a 40-kilometer range of the region – rather than the quiet expected in the “land for peace” scenario. To this day, there are some families who have yet to find permanent homes to replace those lost in the expulsion – and many business owners were never able to recover their losses.
Some half a million Jews are currently living in Judea, Samaria and the parts of Jerusalem that were restored to the capital during the 1967 Six Day War, and numerous analysts have expressed the belief that it would be logistically impossible to withdraw that large a population and relocate them effectively elsewhere within the State of Israel. Even if it were, the security threat posed by a Palestinian state has been compared to living in "Auschwitz borders."