Halevy: Israel 'more than capable' of overcoming threat from Iran

Former Mossad head pays homage to Israel's success during Operation Cast Lead.

Efraim Halevy 248.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Efraim Halevy 248.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Former Mossad head Ephraim Halevy paid homage to Israel's success during Operation Cast Lead earlier this week, saying it was incumbent on the Palestinians to draw the right conclusions from the defeat of Hamas and create a semblance of order. Speaking at the annual dinner of the British Zionist Federation (ZF) at the Marriott Hotel in central London, Halevy - who has previously advocated talking to Hamas - said that from a military point of view, Operation Cast Lead had been an "all-out success" and that Hamas had suffered a sustained and humiliating military defeat. "This was also evident with the total isolation of Hamas in the Arab world," he said. "Egypt and Saudi Arabia turned their back, as did Iran and Syria, and where was [Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan] Nasrallah?" According to Halevy, Gaza and the 2006 Second Lebanon War represented two defeats in three years for Iran. He castigated those who referred to the Islamic Republic as an apocalyptic threat, saying Israel was "more than capable of overcoming the threat." Alan Aziz, the ZF's chief executive, said 2009 would be "the most active year" for the organization despite the current economic situation and climate in the UK. "Now, more than ever, British Jewry needs to stand up against Israel's enemies, especially those who demonize Israel and question its right to exist," he said. Some 500 people attended the dinner on Sunday, which raised over £100,000. During Operation Cast Lead, the ZF raised a similar sum for care packages for Israeli soldiers in Gaza. Next month, it will bring academics from Israeli universities to participate in Israel Science Day at schools in London and Manchester.