Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz criticized Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in an interview in Friday's Yediot Aharonot daily, expressing despair with the PA leader.
"Abu Mazen [Abbas] is a one-man show, and there is nothing backing him," Mofaz told the paper. "We will not reach peace with the current Palestinian leadership - we have to wait until the next generation," he added.
He went on to say that for the time being, the best that could be expected was another round of interim agreements between the sides rather than any final peace agreement.
Vice Premier Shimon Peres responded harshly to Mofaz's statements, telling Army Radio on Friday morning that despite the escalation of terror, it would be a mistake to entirely dismiss the current Palestinian leadership.
"It is impossible to pass over a full generation in history," Peres maintained. "What, history is going to stop for an entire generation? We need to think about what will be with this generation, and not just the next."
"During this generation, we do indeed need to fight terror as necessary, but on the other hand, we can't neglect the chance to encourage the Palestinians - a large part of whom, possibly the majority, is interested in peace," Peres added.
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Mofaz' statements were symptomatic of Israeli contempt for Palestinian institutions, bred by years of Israeli occupation.
"I don't think Israel's problem is with this generation or that generation of Palestinians or this person or that person, Israel's problem is with the whole Palestinian people," he said. "My call to Mr. Mofaz is that she should respect the democratic structures of the Palestinians and I would tell him he always has a partner here."
PLC member Zayid Abu Zayid also reacted angrily to Mofaz's comments. He told Army Radio that the Palestinian leadership has, in fact, undergone changes.
"There is a significant difference between the current situation today in the Palestinian Authority and what it was in the past," Abu Zayid asserted. "There is a leader who says what he believes and does what he believes, but it is impossible to expect him to do more while he is in the shadow of the targeted assassinations and IDF operations inside Palestinian territories," the council member concluded.
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Schneur Genack, New York, USA
: Palestinian leadership has been the tool and spearhead of Muslim hatred of Israel and Jews and its need to target Israel and Jews. This includes all states in the region, including the Saudis
and a population of 1.3 billion Muslims. Arafat was only doing his job. Historically Palestinians were and still are to a large extent part of Jordan
. (Which failed in 1967 to destroy Israel.) The Palestinians tried but failed to destroy Jordan. So, as the President of Iran defined Iranian Policy, it is to wipe out Israel and the Palestinians are the tool.
Unfortunately for the Muslim world, their genocidal hatred of Israel will keep their regimes and people where they are today: backward, ignorant, tyrannical and tyrannized, corrupt and mired in the 14th century. Most Arab ruling classes will continue to be rich, but unable to deploy wealth to any positive end. Israel will not agree to wiped out. It is a dangerous world.
MP, London, ON, Canada
: What a great sentiment, if only it were that easy. Unfortunately, there are a laundry list of problems that have prevented this idealistic plan from being implemented. First and foremost, these terrorists have no interest in Palestine being in the west bank and Gaza
, even if that includes east Jerusalem
...they want all of Israel proper, and they want all Jews dead and will stop at nothing less....read the IJ and Hamas
manifests!!. Furthermore, the Gaza withdrawal has shown us that pulling out does not provide a place for Palestinians to live in peace, it provides free reign for smuggling and building weapons, staging of terror attacks and a start point even closer to Israel.
Also, what about Jerusalem? Do you think anyone is going to withdraw from Jerusalem unilaterally? It was won by the Israelis legitimately in a war they did not start from a country (Jordan) that Israel is already at peace with. The Palestinian insistence on having Jerusalem as part of their state is just further evidence that there is no interest in 2 peaceful, viable states side by side, there is only interest in a Palestine built on the charred remains of the Jewish people.
Mofaz is absolutely right, the PA supports terrorism and Israel does not negotiate with terrorists. When the Palestinians are ready for their own state, they will stop murdering innocent Israeli babies and they will quickly see an Israeli government that is willing to discuss final status agreements and give an independent Palestine beside Israel. When the day comes that those murders actually lay down their weapons and put even one-thousandth of the effort they put into killing innocents into talking peace we'll see an independent, viable Palestinian state within 6 months.
Alec Paterson, London, UK:
The Palestinians' charter still calls for the destruction of Israel; its spokesmen have periodically repeated that the two-state solution is merely a Trojan horse for one Palestinian state. They have rejected all offers and opportunities for a separate Palestinian state.
In Palestinian schoolbooks Israel does not appear at all on the maps of the Middle East, or on the map on their insignia which encompasses the entire area presently composed of Israel and the disputed territories
How can you expect peace when the PA lacks any cohesion and allows terrorist groups to do their dirty deeds. A Palestinian state under current circumstances would be a haven for further terrorism.
Kalinin, Vancouver, Canada:
Peace? What peace? Israel is at war. In a war the first priority is to win that war. To defeat the enemy. Once this is achieved, come the political settlements.
So let us forget about peace at this moment. Let us concentrate on winning the war. Peace will come later.
Ken, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA:
The PA as usual talks a good game when sitting next to Bush with their hands open for money and equipment, but when back home start the rocket-launching and "kill Israel" cheerleading for the rest of the backward-living people such as the Iranians and Syrians.
It's time the PA got their hand-outs from their own oil-rich cousins and stop coming to the West for help. The road-map that I have seen is only going to Hell.
Abdel Karim Salim Sharif, Jerusalem:
I think Israel needs palestinians who have old heads on young shoulders....
Bill, New York:
Mofaz's comments reflect an Israeli arrogance. It says a lot about Israeli leadership. The attitude here is that the leadership is unable to face the reality on the ground. Peace must be made with the present people.
Angels will not come from heaven to negotiate! If you wait you may get a group of people that are more difficult. We better come down to earth. I have a feeling we are creating a very negative perception about our policies towards the Palestinians. The future does not look promising towards like Mofaz's policies.
Sander Poritzky, USA:
Minister Mofaz is right. Peres is a wishful thinker who ignores the fact that Abbas' Fatah
Party's Constitution calls for a ONE STATE(Palestinian) solution documented in 12 articles, ei:Article (12),"Complete liberation of Palestine, and ERADICATION of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence.
The "Palestinian National Charter, the Palestinian endorsed Arab Phased Plan, the Abbas Palestinian school curriculum, the Abbas government's endorsement of official Palestinian maps and emblems all call for eradicating the Jewish state and replacing it with a Palestinian state.
Peres is also wrong when he said that the majority of the Palestinians want peaceful co-existence. The majority elected Abbas and his present Palestinian government
. Peres feels that his hope for peace is stronger then the officially stated policy of the Abbas government.
Ignoring Hitler's objective as stated in Mein Kaumph led to the deaths in WWII of 60 Million human beings of which 6 Million Jews were murdered because they were Jews. Mofaz is right and Peres is wrong.
Lilly, Los Angeles:
If Sharon and Mofaz had tried to crush the terror organizations four years ago in a blitz war, the world would have blamed Israel and after a month another topic would have dominated the media.
But Sharon preferred to destroy empty buildings to show the Israeli population that he was "fighting terror." He didn't want to upset President Bush
who was trying to pacify the Arabs. Now Sharon is retaliating instead of preventing terror and sending a drone or a missile to kill one terrorist. Poor Israelis, they deserve better leaders.
: Unfortunately we will never be without war, the reason that we have wars comes back to one underlining problem GREED. someone wants what some one else has. People can use justification for anything they feel they want or deserve. Terrorism is also the same in that terrorists feel that they can take what someone else has by using fear and death. They don't want peace they want to rule and make the laws that will put them at the top. When I read an article about the 7 people killed in the missile attack on Shadi Mehana, and Islamic Jihad
members vow revenge for the killing of their leader, yet these same terrorists say nothing about the 2 children killed, it shows that freedom and peace on not what they are fighting for. When was the last time a Muslim country other than possibly Egypt
or Jordan has ever condemned Palestinian terror, they always justify it. The bottom line is the only way for Peace, is every one in the world to be content with what they have. This will never happen.
Afroz Bakht, Dallas
: I agree with the pessimism expressed by Mr. Mofaz. People who are running PA are either cowards or double talker. They are too afraid to take chances at their lives by standing up to the mindless and brutal killing of children by brain-washed children. They fear the thugs and they fear that their lives of luxury will be in jeopardy if they say what is right and correct: We must disarm Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The purpose of the Islamic Jihad and Hamas is not to achieve freedom. Their purpose is to destroy all roads leading to peace. Their brain-washed suicide bombers serve two purposes; killing peace and killing Jews as a byproduct.
People who have conscience cannot and should not try to find justification for the killing of innocent civilians. Suicide bombers are ruthless killers and not freedom fighters. Condemning them in English for CNN
and praising them in Arabic for locals is nothing but hypocrisy. Peace will not be achieved unless peace and life-loving people within the Palestinian people stand up and say ENOUGH! to Hamas and Jihad.
Samuel, Portland, Maine
: Israel doesn't want peace in the first place. Ariel Sharon perfectly planned out this latest round of violence, just so he and his cronies can further delay "painful" peace moves.
He's the real terrorist here. You don't go bombing refugee camps in the middle of the night killing women and kids and elderly men.
We should get Sharon a new seat, one in Hague for his War Crimes Tribunal, along with Mofaz and everybody else.
: What some people fail to realize is that its impossible to be at peace with someone who's trying to kill you.
Just as turning-the-other cheek doesn't work to school-yard bullies, it doesn't work in international relations either.
At the moment, the impression we get is that the Palestinians want a state, but they aren't willing to pay the price of freedom and law - which is crushing criminal and terrorist gangs!
Even if the Palestinians ever do earn their state, don't they realize that if attacks escalated against their neighbor - they could even precipitate a war.
They need to clear their act up now, or be consigned to the dustbin of "failed-states" for ever.
Herb Wolfe, Phoenix, AZ
: As a boy of 8 years, in 1943, my family managed to get me out of Germany
by sending me to Haifa where I lived with my Jewish French grandmother who was married to my Christian German grandfather.
I still recall my grandfather telling me that I would make friends with other boys, Jewish and Arabs, but I never should any Arab let embrace me as he could stick two knifes in my back.
This is exactly why we have the situation as it is today.
Ralph Haglund, Lund, Sweden
: It is so simple really: the Road Map starts with: At the outset of Phase I:
. . . All official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel.
As long as the Palestinian Arabs get one billion after the other for NOT fulfilling the start of the Road Map, well documented on http://www.pmw.org.il/ the hate will continue - they are paid for it!
If EU, UN etc. said "not a dollar more until the hate propaganda has stopped in media and mosques" then it would very quickly fade away, and no donor would have to sacrifice a single dollar on this. Of course Israel should tomorrow start saying the same, not only whisper it once in a while.
Simone Rudich, Manchester, UK
: I think that Mr. Mofaz is very optimistic by expecting to have a partner in peace in the next generation of Palestinians. The next generation has been brought up by sermons in mosques full of hatred, calls of destructions, hateful TV and radio programs full of lies and religious ruling blessing and exalting terrorists who blow themselves for the sake of killing as much innocent people (men, women and young children) as possible.
What does he expect to find in the next generation a Palestinian Ghandi
? Every generation it will be worst. Besides with Iran getting nuclear capabilities without anyone getting to concerned who says that there will be a Jewish State for the next generation? I think that Eliana from Italy is very lucky to live in a country were she is does not have to be scared to take a bus or enter a restaurant.
I also believe that Eliana forgot the past the idea of appeasing terrorists and dictators with lands for peace has a macabre precedent with the Third Reich and the Sudets. Has she forgot about it or this shameful page of Italian history (the Axis Rome
-Berlin) is something she praises? I praise Mr. Berlusconi
and Mr. Fini amazingly as I recall his first steps in politics (as at the time I was a student in a right wing high school in Rome) past and present stances towards the Palestinians and the Arab terrorists in general. Italy never had better government than the present and it makes me feel so proud to be Italian but Eliana represent what it is still ugly about Italy and the rest of Europe
, i.e. "lets give in to the terrorists' requests at the end of the day it is the only the Jews who are been murdered on a daily basis!"
Mike Kahan, Detroit, MI
: Eliana from Italy, your sentiments are very sweet and euphoric, but unless you have been living on Mars the last 60 years, your statements are quite ludicrous. You have forgotten as the rest of the world nations have that the Palestinians could have had their own country when there was no Israeli presence from 1948 - 1967. Why wasn't a Palestinian state created? And then with the 1991 Oslo agreement and 2000 Camp David accords and every year in between. We all want peace, but unfortunately the Palestinians would rather try to wipe out Israel than gain real freedom for their own people. You must change the way they think. Israel has always been ready and willing.
Prof Swapan Garain, Mumbai, India
: Israel is a great country with great people - innovative, intelligent, resourceful and human. However the political and military leadership cannot come out of its imperial attitude and superiority complex. And the unqualified support of America has caused more harm to Israel as a state and to its people. Military might cannot sustain or rule a state or its people. We have seen this in USSR
, US occupied Iraq
No unilateral or mutual peace agreement will hold, even with US/UN guarantee, unless Israel leaves the whole of West Bank and East Jerusalem completely. Land grabbing under any pretext will not bring peace. Sooner it is realized by the political leadership, better it will be for the people of Israel. No people, society or state can leave in peace by destroying life and property others, however weak they may be.
Israel has to believe and show that it wants to live in peace. Its action will show its intention. Blaming the PA is just an attempt to divert attention of its own people and the international community.
Unless Israel leaves PA land, there will be no peace in Iraq. And if Iraq is not settled, the Middle East will remain a trouble spot. So the central point is the need for changing the mindset of political leadership in America and Israel.
Sandra Chitayat, Montreal, Canada
: From one Jew whom they have effectively "wiped off" the map, born August 25 in Baghdad, Iraq
, in 1952(Elul 4, 5712). Gaza has become just another buffer zone to deal more effectively with the terrorist threat, if indeed, these groups, as intelligence would have it, are still planning attacks, despite the Tahadiyah, or ceasefire.
With no settlers, this disengagement makes it easier to deal with the enemy, until each Arab country is ready to face its responsibility and deal with the refugees in its territory(Lebanon, Jordan and
Richard Makover, Houston, Texas
: Yes, Eliana, we are all tired of war. But pray tell us - how do you give a country to people who refuse to take it? Do you force them? If you are serious about promoting peace, you should first criticize Palestinian intransigence and terrorism which causes them to be stateless and unfortunately from the way things look, will prolong this statelessness for years to come.
Ayodeji Okikiolu, Lagos, Nigeria
: The recent statements by the Iranian president poses a serious threat to Israelis and non-Israelis alike. Imagine a temperamental and totally irrational people with nuclear capabilities, then you can visualize a world in chaos as nuclear weapons could be lobbed at any nation in the name of "Allah". I seriously think the United Nation
should look closely into these issues, as I foresee grave consequences as a result of the Iranian president's completely irresponsible utterances.
The Iranian president's irresponsible utterances pose a serious threat to the middle east peace process and to world peace in general. The UN should look closely into these issues. Judging by the totally irrational behavior of the Palestinian terrorists during negotiations, it can be assumed that the Palestinians prefer war to peace. They should bear in mind that the free world will not stand aside again while there exists a major threat to world peace. Imagine talking about wiping a nation of the map. I guess they are about to find out that Israel is very much up to the task.
Mike, Brampton, Canada
: Isn't it time for Shimon Peres to retire? Is anybody serious about what is happening? These people are all terrorist, Abu Mazen, Saeb Erekat and the rest of the double talkers. When they talk about suicide operations, they don't condemn them (esp. in Arabic) but say 'the time isn't right'. I guess the world just doesn't understand (as Eliana from Italy doesn't) that these people are hating, murderous thugs and it will be AT LEAST another generation.
: Why do people so soon forget that pre 1967 Israel was harassed by the Arabs, the Palestinians on a daily basis with bombings, shootings and infiltrations. If the argument is that peace is possible as long as Israel "returns" the territory to the Arabs and moves behind the "green line" borders then where was this blessed peace before 1967? Were Jews even allowed to visit the Western Wall pre 1967? Nope! Were synagogues burned after 1948 in the old city? The fedayeen and their local counterparts were responsible for the cold-blooded murder of hundreds and hundreds of Jews before Israel ever set foot in the "occupied territories".
There is absolutely no moral justification to a Palestinian state. None. It never existed, they were never a nation of people and if you wish to argue about this, just think about the Oslo accord debacle that was the beginning of the wholesale slaughter of over a thousand men women and children who just happen to be Jewish. We tried (unfortunately) to give the Arabs a land, they rejected it on a grand level, then they proceeded to systematically murder Jews in the most horrible of ways. I for one will never agree to share the land of Israel with the same types of people who murdered the beautiful Hatuel family on the road to Gaza. Bottom line.
: I just reply to Eliana from Italy. I am pretty sure that you are a new reader of The Jerusalem Post
. If you read it more often, you'll see a reality which is very different from what you see or read in the Italian medias, which is every day, the Palestinian are trying to kill Israeli civilians, often they fail, and sometimes they succeed, in Italy, you only read when they succeed. What you don't know is that the Palestinians always attack the Israelis, that's why the Israelis can't give them land away without signing peace, peace if they do, the Palestinians will want Tel Aviv
next. So just read The Jerusalem Post
more and regularly and you will understand better the nightmare that the Israelis are living.
Ron Liebman, New York, USA
: Shaul Mofaz sees the situation clearly with regards to the current Palestinian "leadership". As usual, Shimon Peres pays lip service to the idea of combating the enemy, while continuing to insist on pursuing his fantasy of "peace in our time".
: The only goal of the Palestinian leadership and people is to destroy Isra l.
All the rest is a waste of time so stop dreaming and don't expect something else from them.
Everybody is so tired of seeing scenes of war all the time and desperate people crying for their loved ones in a land that should be the Land of Peace and Love, where the fathers of religion were born. I believe that Israel as a State should stop the occupation and leave the West Bank to the Palestinian people (as they did with Gaza). Giving the full control of the land, the sky and the sea to the PA. It's essential to give the Palestinians the right of having a Palestinian State, independent and free from Israel. Their state should have the right of importing and exporting Palestinian goods. I believe that the Palestinian people and the Israeli people can live next to each other if they respect each other's rights.