Halutz Weighs in For Golan Giveaway, Draws Fire

Former IDF Chief of Staff Halutz said Saturday that Israel "could get by without the Golan." MK Eldad said, "Israel is getting by without Halutz."

Ezra HaLevi and Maayana Miskin ,

Former IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz said Saturday that Israel should be willing to give up the strategic Golan region in exchange for a peace deal with Syria. “I get stomach pains from the thought of returning the Golan,” he said, “but in theory, Israel could get by without the Golan.”

Israel must be willing to “pay a real price” for peace, he said. “It’s good to look for every opportunity to reach an agreement with every enemy,” he added.

Members of Knesset launched harsh criticism at Halutz, who was forced to resign following the lackluster performance of the IDF under his command in the Second Lebanon War. 

MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) said, “In theory and in practice, Israel can get by without Dan Halutz.”

Fellow National Union MK Effie Eitam, who lives in the Golan, slammed Halutz as well, saying the former Air Force commander had not learned from his failures during the Second Lebanon War and continued to underestimate the critical importance of a controlling presence on the ground.

MKs from the leftist Meretz party welcomed Halutz’s statements, and said he had proven the importance of reaching a peace deal with Syria.

MK Ran Cohen said the statements showed that “peace with Syria is already a part of the consensus,” while MK Yossi Beilin said Halutz had proven that “the strategic contribution of a deal with Syria... is far more important than retaining the Golan Heights.”