benzi lieberman 88.
(photo credit: )
Settlers did not tremble in fear and the Left did not jump for joy when Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declared on Sunday that in exchange for true peace, he would agree to the "evacuation of many territories and communities" in the West Bank.
"He's too weak, he can't do it," said Benzi Lieberman, who heads the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.
Ariel Mayor Ran Nachman added, "He (Olmert) doesn't have enough political power."
The prime minister's words were disappointing but not surprising, Lieberman said. Olmert's belief that the evacuation of more territories was the correct next step revealed how out of touch he was with the needs of the nation, Lieberman said.
At this time, Olmert should be focused on improving social welfare issues, strengthening the army and uniting the nation rather than creating additional divisions, Lieberman continued.
Nachman added that Olmert should have learned that "when you run away from terror, it runs after you."
That is exactly what happened, he said, when Israel pulled unilaterally out of southern Lebanon six years ago and when it withdrew from Gaza more than a year ago.
Imagine how safe Israel would be, he said sarcastically, if Hamas were sitting in Samaria.
"Would the prime minister be able to take off from Ben-Gurion airport to see [US] President [George] Bush?" Nachman asked. He couldn't, he continued, because it would be too dangerous.
It was not the role of former prime minister Ariel Sharon to create a Palestinian state, nor is it Olmert's task, Nachman said. Olmert, he said, "needs to strengthen the state of Israel."
Mossi Raz, a leader of the left-wing activist group Peace Now, said that while Olmert did have a role to play in establishing a Palestinian state, he simply didn't believe Olmert would make good on his promises.
Raz said he would measure Olmert only by his deeds, and not by his words.
"I hope he will repent," said Raz. But so far, Raz said, all Olmert has done is act violently toward the Palestinians and construct settlement buildings in the West Bank.