Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu spoke to Israel National News - Arutz Sheva about the extended wait for the IDF's ground entry into Gaza.
"We all understand today that the ones who analyzed the situation correctly were Itzhak Brik, Itamar Ben Gvir, and not other people who were irresponsible. I trust the people who read the writing on the wall, since they have advised the army to wait longer and go in with the ground forces after we've have flattened everything - I recommend training more, being patient and going in when we are sure that we will go in and crush them. Not to go in and find out that it’s like in Vietnam," claimed Eliyahu.
He believes that "the IDF soldiers’ spirit should be strong and they should be happy that the IDF checks everything and does not throw them into battle irresponsibly. We all see that Gaza is being crushed. We loathe our failure in regard to humanitarian aid, but everywhere else we are making progress."
When asked about the connection between the release of the hostages and humanitarian aid to Gaza, Minister Eliyahu replied, "The hostages are a very important issue – but the bigger question is whether Israel will be able to stand on its two feet after this tragedy. As long as we convey the notion that there are people over there and not Nazis – we are tripping ourselves up. We need to say loud and clear: 'Do you want humanitarian aid? Free our hostages. As soon as we give them humanitarian aid as we are doing now – we are failing at international advocacy and giving them more air to breathe. We need to defeat them and have them coming and begging us."
"We are busy protecting the residents of Israel so that they will not rise up against them like during Operation Guardian of the Walls. So why give them humanitarian aid and encourage other terrorists to see that we are not decisive enough? We need to wipe them out and I hear this from the right and the left. We must understand that the rules of the game have changed – and if we don’t understand this very soon – things will spread throughout the country," he added.
When asked what he thought about the demand to close down some of the government ministries due to the situation and the need to free up budgets, Minister Eliyahu answered: "Most of the government's budgets are allocated for the fighting – and we should indeed close entities like the Public Broadcasting Corporation which costs billions of shekels – and weakens our spirit. Ministry employees have been mobilized, some of our teams are busy on the Gaza outskirts, others are documenting the vast stories of heroism during this war, some are assisting in the distribution of weapons at the Ministry of National Security. Unfortunately, some of our people lost loved ones in this tragedy and some are on reserve duty. The populist campaign in this matter is unnecessary."
Minister Eliyahu also called for Yisrael Beytenu chairman MK Avigdor Liberman to be added to the cabinet. "We must get out of the damned Oslo illusion and the damned Disengagement. There will be time to think about how we got into this situation and accepted the concept at all levels – but now we all need to show unity – and push the army to enter Gaza. That's why Liberman should also be part of the cabinet, to show us the mistakes that were made."
"In my opinion, we should return to Gush Katif. Gaza will not rise again. Because if that happens, we will encounter the same situation in Lebanon, Judea and Samaria, and among the Israeli Arabs. We must know how to eradicate the cancer of the Muslim Nazis – otherwise we are inviting more rounds of violence," concluded Minister Eliyahu.