THE KNESSET, JERUSALEM, Israel –Since Israel’s birth in 1948, wars are a constant threat to the survival of the Jewish state.
In Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, one group is addressing the question: what measures can Israel take to weaken the terror groups that aim to wage war on the nation?
Two Knesset members, Ohad Tal from the Netanyahu coalition and Evgeny Sova from the opposition Yisrael Beiteinu Party, hosted a meeting in mid-July of the Israel Victory Caucus.
They believe Israel should be more proactive and take steps to weaken its enemies to keep them from waging war against Israel.
Tal, from the Religious Zionist Party, explained why.
“Because I think in the last 30 years, we’ve lost something. The Jewish people knew how to win battles. We knew how to win in 1948,” he said.
Tal added, “No one asked themselves in 1948 if Israel was established or not, if Israel won or lost. We knew how to win in 1967, but since the Oslo Accords, we forgot how to win. In the last few years, the last 30 years, we’re not winning anymore, and I think we should go back to winning.”
The Middle East Forum helped host the meeting. One aim is to stop wars before they begin.
Middle East Forum Director Greg Roman explained, “This is a united message that transcends politics and allows individuals to focus on defense as a priority for the state rather than be something which is a side policy issue. The policy towards Gaza – at least what we are recommending to the government – is a complete disarmament of Hamas in Gaza. Meaning that there is no ability for them to wage war against the Jewish state in the future.”
To achieve that goal, they released a policy paper on disarming Gaza, written by the former head of the Research Division at the Israel Defense Forces Intelligence Corps, Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser (Ret.).
“My message is that we have to reassess our strategy towards Gaza. And the strategy that we practice today allows Hamas to arm itself to its teeth in between the rounds of violence,” Kuperwasser cautioned. “This is against our interest, since it makes Hamas not only stronger vis a vis Israel itself, (but also) able to hit Israel everywhere they want as they wish and threatening Israel.
“He added, “We should adopt a new policy that after the next round of atrocities, Hamas should know in advance that after the next round of atrocities we should not allow it to rearm itself.”
Rabbi Leo Dee also addressed the meeting. Earlier this year, his wife and two daughters were murdered in a terrorist attack.
Dee appealed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to fund or support what he sees as another enemy of Israel: the Palestinian Authority.
“What happens is they’re spending 300 million dollars a year financing terrorists, such as the family that killed my wife and daughters,” Dee said. “And they’re also publishing textbooks which incite violence that laud terrorists. And they’re running summer camps at the moment, where the kids are running around with banners with the pictures of the three murderers of my wife and daughters, and learning how to shoot and stab Jews all over the world.”
Whether it’s Hamas in Gaza or the Palestinian Authority, most agreed the next war is not a matter of if, but when, and they want Israel to be prepared to win.