Leftist MK Dismisses Calls to Retake Gaza as 'Cheap Populism'
Meretz Chairman Zehava Galon heavily criticized ministers who are pushing for an expansion of Operation Protective Edge in Gaza on Tuesday, claiming that to continue the self-defense campaign - or retake Gaza - would harm Israel's security.
"It is precisely because of the terrible loss of soldiers and our international legitimacy, which is gradually fading against the backdrop of destruction and casualties in Gaza, that ministers must remember that they are dealing with lives, not another speech for Likud," Galon fired.
"The ultimate goal isn't popularity or cheap populism, but to maximize our security with minimal losses," she added.
Early on in the operation, Galon accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of "warmongering", saying, "we know that there is a heavy price of blood for those who live by the sword, even when you are on the side that holds the bigger sword."
Throughout the offensive, she has called for the IDF to accept a cease-fire with Hamas, claiming Israel "has no exit strategy" in Gaza.
She has also accused Israel of being involved in a "killing spree" against Palestinian Arabs, buying into Hamas's claims that most of the over 1,000 people killed are civilians instead of terrorists.
Meanwhile, ministers have become increasingly vocal about retaking Gaza - with even Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) admitting last week that "all options" are on the table.
The most vocal calls have come from Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, who has said time and time again that the only way to eliminate the rocket attacks is take over Gaza.
Former Israeli National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror made similar comments several weeks ago.
"We’ve never had a crushing blow that hurt the other side’s the ability to launch missiles," Amidror said, adding that he believes the only way to achieve complete quiet is to "retake Gaza and be there for six months to a year to clean it out."