The Enemy Within (1995)

The Knesset: 61 years of parliamentary democracy, and counting, in Israel. But do its members properly love their country? Or does the dysfunctional way Members are chosen, with their election rules that do not conform to Jewish law, lead to a pointless scramble for patronage? A new Manifesto calls for radically reforming the way Israel picks Members of this body. Furthermore, terms like right and left, as in other parliaments, mean little when no one will articulate first principles.
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On March 31, 1995, ten years before Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza, Yitzhak Rabin was Israel’s Prime Minister, and Shimon Peres was his Defense Minster. On that day of March 31, 1995, Ariel Sharon published an article in the Jerusalem Post entitled “The Enemy Within.” Here is what he wrote:

The Enemy Within

  • “When I told the Knesset this week, ‘This government is against everything that is Jewish,’ several leftists were riled. But for me, the Jewish cause transcends everything.  Israel is the Jewish state; Jerusalem is Jewish, and exclusively Jewish; Hebron is forever Jewish….
  • “Those on whose head lays the blood of the 134 Israeli citizens murdered since the Oslo Agreement are anti-Jewish….
  • “Anyone planning to hand over Beit El and Shiloh is against Jews and Judaism.  Those who gave official status to non-Jews on the Temple Mount are anti-Jewish.”

Is the enemy within more deadly than the enemy without?

Memorial to the Six-day War, on the Jerusalem road. Photo: CNAV

With these words Sharon tacitly denounced Rabin and Peres as anti-Jewish. But virtually everything Sharon denounced as anti-Jewish applied ten-fold not only to himself, i.e., to his Gaza Disengagement Plan, but also to any Israeli that advocates a Palestinian state, such as Benjamin Netanyahu!!!

In the same Jerusalem Post article of March 31, 1995, Sharon warned that the Rabin Government’s plan to evacuate Gaza and parts of Judea and Samaria would result in Jewish bloodshed: “Evacuating the IDF from Palestinian-populated areas,” he said, “will primarily affect the Jewish population in Jerusalem and the center of the country.” These areas, he explained, “aren’t geared to defend themselves against terrorism.”  He further warned, “Those who leave Jenin will find they have intensified terror … And those who dare to evacuate the IDF from Ramallah and Bethlehem shouldn’t expect a day of tranquility in Jerusalem.”

Sharon thus foretold exactly what was to happen in Jerusalem and in the center of the country under his own government (which tolerated the murder of more than 1,000 Jews)! Now consider the following facts:

  1. Nothing has happened since 1995 to change Sharon’s ominous security assessment. Recall the 2003 elections, when Sharon and his Likud Party campaigned against Labor’s disengagement policy. Throughout the next two years, IDF Chief of General Staff. Lt. Gen. Moshe Yaalon, IDF Chief of Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Aharon Zeevi-Farkash, and Shin Bet Director, Avi Dichter, testified before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that withdrawal from Gaza and northern Samaria would increase terrorist attacks against Israel.[1]
  2. The evidence of these and other experts, who span the political spectrum, indicates that Sharon’s Disengagement Plan was not based on any rational, strategic considerations. Indeed, former Deputy IDF Intelligence Chief, Maj. Gen. Yaakov Amidror declared that “The Israeli government has not succeeded in producing a single serious argument that can refute objections [to the abandonment of Gaza] and justify the grave step that it is taking”[2]
  3. Given the warnings of these experts concerning Gaza, imagine what they would say about the abandonment of Judea and Samaria to make room for Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposed Palestinian state?
  4. Moreover, if Sharon could say that “Anyone planning to hand over Beit El and Shiloh is against Jews and Judaism,” what is one to say about Netanyahu, who has endorsed the creation of a Arab Palestinian state in the heart of Israel?☼


[1] In his testimony before the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on January 5, 2005, Dichter described some threats inherent in carrying out Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s plan to pull the IDF out of the Gaza Strip. “In a situation where Israel is not in control of the Philadelphi corridor [which separates Gaza from the Sinai Peninsula],” Dichter warned, “terrorists arriving from Lebanon are liable to infiltrate through it into the Gaza Strip and there is the distinct possibility that in a short while the Gaza Strip will turn into south Lebanon.” Dichter also cautioned that the current “trickle” of arms smuggling through the corridor is liable to turn into a “river.” According to Dichter, during the six months following the cabinet approval of the disengagement plan in June 2004, the number of Kassam rockets fired from Gaza nearly doubled.  For a more detailed report, see The Jerusalem Post, January 6, 2005, pp. 3, 9.

[2] Yaakov Amidror, “Unilateral Withdrawal: A Security Error of Historical Magnitude,” Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, Tel Aviv University, Vol. 7, No. 3, December 2004.

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