January 15, 2017

SOMEONE HAS TO WIELD THE SJAMBOKS:

Former defense leaders take aim at Bennett's annexation plan (JUDAH ARI GROSS January 15, 2017, Times of Israel)

Former high-ranking security officials called out Education Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday for championing the annexation of portions of the West Bank, a move they said would put Israel on a course to lose its Jewish and democratic character.

The officers were members of a group known as Commanders for Israel's Security, which is made up of approximately 200 former top officials from the country's security services and is dedicated to advancing the two-state solution.

That cause is now under attack as "Bennett and his friends are leading us to the annexation [of the West Bank]," fomer Israel Police chief Asaf Hefetz told reporters at a press conference in Tel Aviv on Sunday evening.

Hefetz was joined by the group's chairman, Maj. Gen. (res.) Amnon Reshef, a respected former commander of the IDF Armored Corps; former Mossad director Shabtai Shavit; former head of IDF Central Command Maj. Gen. (res.) Gadi Shamni; former deputy head of the National Security Council Yisraela Oron; and former head of the NSC Dani Arditi.

Bennett, leader of the religious Jewish Home party, has called for an annexation of large swaths of the West Bank, particularly Area C, where Israel maintains full control. He plans to put forward a law to extend sovereignty over the Jerusalem-area settlement of Ma'ale Adumim later this month.

"We shouldn't annex the West Bank and its 2.5 million Palestinians. We must preserve Israel as a democracy and a state for the Jewish people," Reshef said.



Posted by at January 15, 2017 6:10 PM

  

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