Labor candidate 'surprised by Gaza-area crybabies'

Labor candidate Tal Russo calls Gaza-area residents 'crybabies,' claims they should show 'more resilience.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Tal Russo
Tal Russo
Tomer Neuberg/Flash90

Reserve General Tal Russo, who is Labor's number two, on Saturday called Gaza-area residents "crybabies" for their reaction to the constant barrage of incendiary and explosive balloons sent into Israel from Gaza.

"I was involved mostly in the Disengagement from northern Samaria, but I also saw what was happening in Gaza. It was the right decision from a security perspective. It's not like we left Gaza, Gush Katif was a small 'hallway,' which turned into an explosive hallway. The number of people injured in the period leading up to the Disengagement was huge. Looking back, I think Arik (Ariel - ed.) Sharon saved us from the chaos that was happening in Gush Katif and Netzarim."

During the 2005 Disengagement, Israel evacuated Jewish communities in northern Samaria and Gaza, in exchange for a promised peace. Since then, Israel and Gaza's Hamas have fought several wars, each time ending in a promised "cease fire." Occasional rocket fire has continued, and in spring 2018, Gaza terrorists have begun sending incendiary and explosive kites and balloons into Israeli territory, with the intention to harm civilians, specifically children.

"A peace agreement will demand that we evacuate settlements. We need to find a way to evacuate and compensate [residents] and make the smaller settlements part of the settlement blocs. I'm not talking about the pre-1967 borders. In my mind, the large settlement blocs - no way will we dismantle them, but there's also no way we'll do nothing and let ourselves turn into a non-democratic country."

Regarding the incendiary and explosive kites and balloons, Russo said, "I think that it would be proper for residents of the Gaza-area towns to show a little bit more resilience. I was surprised by how they acted like crybabies when it came to the kite terror."

"It's important that the residents know that expressing weakness helps the other side's motivation... When I was Commander of the Southern Command, I was lucky enough to be with three amazing people....they knew how to show strength."

Eshkol Regional Council Head Gadi Yarkoni condemned Russo and said, "What Reserve General Tal Russo said is outrageous and removed [from reality]. Especially since it's coming from him."

"Residents of the Gaza-area towns have shown resilience and amazing patience for 18 straight years already, despite and in spite of the challenges and the continued terror against our towns. Residents of Gaza-area towns are busy with development, absorption, and strengthening their communities.

"I want to remind Tal Russo, who left his position as Southern Command Commander six years ago - the residents of Gaza-area towns have been through Protective Edge and the exposure of the tunnel network just under their towns. This network was created and built, by the way, during Russo's term. Gaza-area residents are still paying the price for the policy of ignoring 'drizzles' which today come in the form of incendiary kites and balloons and the sight and smell of burned fields and nightly disruptions of order which do not allow our children to sleep.

"As someone who listens to educators, social workers, parents, and residents crying every day about the difficulties faced by the children who live with this continued reality, I will continue to represent the reality here and insist on a solution and long-term quiet.

"I will not allow this to be called being a 'crybaby.' From Tal Russo, I would have expected more understanding and humility towards Gaza-area residents."