Gantz and Lapid: We won't give back the Golan

Four heads of the Blue and White party visit Golan Heights, promise to double the size of Jewish settlement in the area.

Hezki Baruch ,

Blue and White leaders in the north
Blue and White leaders in the north
Basel Awidat/Flash 90

The four heads of the Blue and White party - Benny Gantz, Yair Lapid, Moshe Ya'alon and Gabi Ashkenazi - took part on Monday in a security tour of the Golan Heights.

The head of the list, Benny Gantz, said during the tour, "We are required to deal with various security challenges. Gabi, me and Bogie all fought here. We have an Iranian front that is based here. There are significant threats in Lebanon just as in Gaza."

He spoke about the significance of integrating security minds into the party, saying, "There are three chiefs of staff and a former minister who was in the cabinet. 117 years of military experience. We will build a strong cabinet and we will handle the right and responsible processes with the IDF - not the media. We will not be taught how to protect the country and how to fight terror. We will stop the Iranian consolidation on three fronts - in Syria, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. The IDF and the security will receive freedom of action and backing from the political echelon. We will have a responsible and balanced cabinet."

Gantz also claimed that his party would lead to a significant increase in settlement in the Golan Heights. "We will increase the settlement of the Golan in a way that will convey to the world clearly - we will never leave the Golan Heights - on the contrary, it will be developed and multiplied. The US and the international community must be recruited to act for Israel's security interests in the northern sector."

MK Yair Lapid added that "the Golan Heights is an inseparable part of the State of Israel. It is a strategic asset and we have a historical right to it. Israel will never give back the Golan Heights. It is ours, and it will remain ours. In the past two years, we have been conducting a campaign that will lead to American recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Both with Congress and the White House. Following requests from Zvika Hauser and myself, two American senators, Tom Cotton and Ted Cruz, submitted a draft resolution to the US Senate to recognize our sovereignty over the Golan Heights."

"The history of the Golan is ours. Strategically, the Golan is ours. A government headed by us will never give back the Golan Heights. There is a tyrant sitting on the other side of the border who has murdered half a million people of his own people. It is the Iranians and Hezbollah who keep his regime alive. We call on both the European Union and the United Nations to recognize reality. Recognize what is right and just. Recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights," Lapid said.

Moshe Ya'alon said that "the border before us is not only a border between countries, it is also a border between civilizations: Green, blooming and flourishing on our side against the black, burned, bleeding on the Syrian side. This is the border of hope against evil."

"Throughout the bloody civil war that took place on Syrian soil, we knew how to set red lines, to hit where and when needed when they tried to harm us and our sovereignty. We destroyed any direct Iranian attempt or through proxies to open a front in front of us here. We exacted heavy prices from the enemy. We maintained the principle of executing while remaining silent, and our deterrent power proved itself. This policy, which I established as Minister of Defense and according to which the IDF operated, has proven itself and I am pleased that it continues and is maintained. We must also return to the principle of keeping quiet," Ya'alon said, hinting at the change in the policy of ambiguity by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

He added, "Together, with nearly 120 years of cumulative security experience, years in which the enemy has also come to know us and our power, we will ensure that Israel's national security interests are maintained with force and responsibility. We will not allow neither Iran nor Hezbollah to be established and strengthened in Syria and Lebanon and we will prevent any attempt to harm us and threaten us with force and determination. The Golan Heights is a strategic asset and we will work to strengthen it and apply full Israeli sovereignty over it as soon as possible."

Gabi Ashkenazi concluded, "I want to say one thing to all our enemies in Syria and in the entire region: In the face of every existential threat to the State of Israel - we will act and not contain. Action - not containment.”