National Union: Leftists distancing Schalit release

MK Katz says of Schalit family pressure on government, "Noam can form his own party and run"; PM "surrendered by agreeing to free terrorists."

June 27, 2011 16:45
2 minute read.
National Union MK Yaakov Katz

National Union MK Yaakov Katz 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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The campaign pressuring Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in return for kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit will only harm efforts to bring about his freedom, National Union MKs said in a press conference at the Knesset on Monday.

The MKs said they called the press conference because they feared that Netanyahu would give into pressure to make a deal with Hamas. They said the only true way to bring about Schalit’s release was another war in the Gaza Strip and targeted assassinations of Hamas leaders.

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“The State of Israel hasn’t done one percent of what it can do to bring about Schalit’s release,” National Union leader Ya’acov Katz said. “The family, in its desire to get their son free, should not lead the country to insanity. Noam Schalit can form his own party and run if he wants.”

National Union MKs said that holding negotiations with Hamas in an effort to free Schalit would not be successful. Katz said it was “unacceptable,” that former security chiefs have come out in recent days in support of a prisoner-exchange deal to free Schalit.

The National Union, Katz said, represents a “large population in Israel that’s upset Israel is being harmed by a group that wants to weaken Israel before its enemies, far and near,” adding that the country is “in the middle of a war for our existence.”

Katz saved his harshest words for Netanyahu. “I don’t believe the Prime Minister has the courage to take action to release Schalit,” he said.

Netanyahu, he added, “surrendered when he agreed to release arch-terrorists.” He continued by calling for the Prime Minister to “stop his Diaspora mentality.”

Fellow National Union MK Uri Ariel slammed current efforts to free Schalit, saying, “Good intentions lead to hell.”

Ariel prescribed a different path for freeing the kidnapped soldier, saying, “We need to hit [Hamas Prime Minister Ismail] Haniyeh. Everything else distances [us] from [Gilad’s] release.”

Towing a similar line, MK Arye Eldad told gathered reporters, “If we declare that all Hamas leaders who support holding Gilad will have a funeral within a week, it will lead to freeing Gilad Schalit.”

Meanwhile, MK Michael Ben-Ari directly tied the kidnapping of the IDF soldier with the 2006 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

“Schalit’s kidnapping is a direct result of our fleeing Gaza. When you talk to terror, you talk not via surrender but via the gun.” Terror, he added, “must be defeated.”

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