Diaspora Minister Amichai Chikli commented today on his decision to support any person or exchange deal despite his initial intention to oppose it.
“I went into the Cabinet meeting intending to vote against. I think that no one is fooling themselves that we are not paying a price, Even those whose entire military education is a squad leaders course can recognize the principle that a war needs continuity and nose how important something like this is and how problematic it is to bring it to a halt,” he told Radio 103FM.
“At the same time, there are other considerations at work. First of all, this is not a single soldier on an assignment being captured, nor a guerrilla incident as has happened in the past - we could accept that. This is a situation where children were kidnapped from their houses on Shabbat morning and are now held by Hamas, and we cannot accept that. There is a complex tension at work here.”
“There are several things that changed my mind. First of all, was what I heard in the Cabinet, where there was unanimous support from all parties to continue the operation and the confidence and determination in the heads of the army that we could do so. Our ground forces have displayed capabilities that surprised us all.”
There were many who said our ground forces weren't ready or that we shouldn't execute a ground invasion at all, even former Prime Ministers. We have made impressive achievements on operational and intelligence levels I cannot share, and given this and the limited time we had, I decided to try and vote in favor of something that could show both our soldiers and our enemies that we are making decisions with a broad consensus.”
He also commented: “My faith in the Nazis called Hamas is sub-zero. There are mediators, the most serious of which I believe to be Egypt. If we are talking about conceptualization, I am having the most trouble with Qatar. Qatar is an enemy country, and they are mediating. We saw how antisemitic they were at the World Cup. I have never seen a World Cup so antisemitic."
Chikli commented on the recent criticism of the government: “I think the public has begun to see right now who is behaving responsibly, like an adult, who is focused on winning and bringing the hostages home and who is focused on politics, and people are remembering these things and will hold accountable anyone who thought that now is the time to destroy our internal unity.”
“Unlike televised interviews, from the War Cabinet and the regular Cabinet and to the last of our soldiers, there is complete agreement that we are going to destroy Hamas and do anything we need to to bring every last hostage home. That is the only thing we care about right now and our only consideration in operations. I also say that it is not only true for Hamas in Gaza, but for the northern border and Judea and Samaria as well.”
He commented on the government’s functionality as well: “I have said in an earlier interview on this matter that we could have recovered faster, but All the government offices are right now functioning in war mode from morning to evening, into the night, even the Ministry of Social Equality.”