'In next round we should bring down Hamas'

MK Uzi Dayan: Hamas embitters our lives but in long run we win; sovereignty must be applied in Jordan Valley.

Shimon Cohen ,

Hamas bluster, Gaza
Hamas bluster, Gaza
Flash 90

MK Uzi Dayan, Maj. Gen. and former Deputy Chief of Staff, discussed with Arutz Sheva ways to deal with the escalation in the South, the approaching Trump program, and his party's difficulty in drawing left-center seats.

At the outset, Dayan was asked about the escalation in the south and the rocket fire, while Israel's hands appear to be bound by electoral cables with Hamas aware of this limitation and exploiting it well.

"Hamas is deterred but embitters our lives," says Dayan, who believes that whatever the response of Israel might be, the government will claim it acts for election reasons, whether it chooses restraint or chooses to attack immediately, "so there is no choice in such a situation but to pursue the responsible policy we've been doing for quite some time now."

In his estimation, "Hamas will eventually collapse. For example, in the past few days, five terrorists were killed without any casualties on our side. Although the lives of Gaza area residents are embittered, in general there is a cost to living in border communities. I know this from my childhood. It is upsetting but we have to act consistently and as long as we do not have many injured, it's being done for the right policy reasons."

Uzi Dayan
Eliran Aharon

Dayan adds that all those who today criticize the government, when in power themselves they did not act differently and when they did something else the result was not desirable.

"The next time we enter Gaza, we have to go all the way and bring about the Hamas collapse," says Dayan, who will discuss the meaning of this Hamas collapse later.

He said that the government's policy is correct in a situation where Israel does not have many casualties. He was asked if he does not want to upset Gaza area residents who feel as if someone is waiting for a large number of casualties to respond. "We are not waiting for serious injury, but we are responsible and in the long run we win. True, it is an uncomfortable situation and has a price, but it is better to be a resident of Ohr Haner or Sderot than a resident of Saja'ia."

Regarding the question of Hamas' collapse and the day after that collapse, Knesset Member Dayan says: "A terrorist organization is collapsed by eliminating the military leadership, and in my view everyone is a military leader. You don't do it with one elimination every two months, but like in the case of Badar Meinhoff, the Japanese Red Army, the Brigades and to Mao-Mao, or you kick him out of his territory like we did to Fatah in Lebanon. That means a real military operation that has a price, and that should be said honestly."

As for what will happen next, Dayan says: "We will not determine who will rule in Gaza. I hear the 'commanders of Israel's security' propose to remove Hamas and return Abbas there. But we were already in this position when we handed him the leash but within a few weeks he lost it. The answer here is sharp and has significance: I do not know who will replace Hamas, but because Hamas is the problem and not the solution, it must be eliminated over time, and whoever replaces it will remember what happened to those who messed with Israel."

Dayan does not accept the assessment that Israel does not convey the message that those who mess with it will be swallowed up. "This is our clear statement and it discourages Hamas. If not then they would fire twenty rockets every day. Does that mean they will do nothing? I hear there is someone who explains that there could be an uprising in Judea and Samaria. That's right. And it is true that Hezbollah may come into the picture. We are deterring.

"We get to the moon and launch a satellite into space and at the same time Hamas launches balloons that we all deal with. There is tremendous disproportion here. When will we use all our power? When we come to the point that this is the necessary thing, enough is enough, and anyone who says enough is enough every day should know that it has a price and we are sensitive to this bloody price, because we, unlike Hamas, love our people. Hamas doesn't care if there are many more people killed in Gaza. In order to win, we need to eliminate Hamas and they have to survive in total, no matter how many casualties they have. This is the disproportion between humans and animals."

In the light of these remarks, Dayan was asked if during his days as a fighter and as an officer in the IDF there were other days, days when the price did not deter Israeli society from going out and beating the enemy. "Then the home front did not suffer at all. We would return from the Suez Canal at four in the morning from the hell that was there and I would pass through Tel Aviv and see a bustling city, another planet. I didn't like it even though Bar-Lev once said that was the job of the military. In addition, there was another serving elite. Today, the elite that replaced the working settlement is the national Zionist religious youth and in this regard a certain tension was created."

Dayan adds, "It is true that we grew up as a generation with the goal of winning," but said that in conversation with Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi the value of victory is now internalized in army leadership. "The Chief of Staff understands that the value of victory must be instilled at the top of the ladder. The values ​​of the military alongside other values. The debate today is more about how to win and patience is needed for that."

Later, Dayan addressed the issue of the Trump program and the announcement that it would be publicized after the election. We wondered if it was wrong for this plan to be published before the elections, so that the public would know what was ahead of it and for the leadership in Israel to present its ways of relating to the plan and, accordingly, the public would know who was right and good to vote for.

"There is no closed plan. This is not a plan in an envelope that will be issued after the election. There are American attempts that when they just begin, the Palestinians start saying no. Even when it comes to a good economic plan for the Palestinians, Abbas says no. There is no point in attacking our American friend for something that is not closed and that the Palestinians also reject."

And what about him? Does his ideological position draw red lines to such a political plan? "I don't call it red lines," says Dayan, who presents his overall political view: "The main thing that needs to be done is sovereignty in the Jordan Valley and defining Israel's eastern border first. We did it successfully in East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights and it is time for the Jordan Valley. This is the historic and security frontier and not just for a period until something happens."

If this is his view of the Jordan Valley, what remains for the political negotiation with the Palestinians? "At this point, I am not reaching negotiations. There is no one to talk to. The peace process has become the 'may he rest in peace' process. So I continue to build my house. There is wall-to-wall agreement that there's no one to talk to. Who we will talk to? With someone who demands the 1967 lines? Someone who doesn't accept an economic plan for his own public good? Someone who made bad conditions for his own public? We have no partner and so it's time to stop making generous, dangerous and delusional proposals.

"We need to say that it is time for sovereignty in the Jordan Valley and to open the valley and open a door for those who want to talk to us without preconditions," says Dayan and when asked what he offers to Ramallah and Shechem residents he directs the Palestinian Authority residents to their leadership. "We have no interest in controlling the Palestinians. We want a Jewish and democratic state and we are not willing to give up security for that. I was the head of the Security Committee sitting across Jordan, the Palestinians, and Syria. There's no one to talk to. Let them decide what they want and understand that their address is Israel, if they want to talk. If they continue to insist, I will continue to build my Jewish democratic state."

Before the end of the conversation, MK Dayan was asked to address the political issue in which his party does not seem to be able to collect votes from Liberman's Yisrael Beyteinu and Blue and White. "It is true that we need more seats and that is our effort. We are also concerned about the right-wing camp, but not for this will we worry for the small parties that, the day after they are elected, they will use their small but significant power to get more and more. That is why anyone who wants an effective democracy should vote Likud."

He said "the votes should come from those who do not vote, of those two hundred thousand votes wasted below the electoral threshold and those who for some reason go after the Pied Piper of Hamlin Liberman."