Netanyahu: The boys were kidnapped by Hamas
Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu: The concept of unilateral withdrawal has collapsed.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert spoke in a special Knesset session today in the wake of the war in Lebanon. "I wish to thank the chief of staff, the commanders, and the soldiers who risk their lives," Olmert said, and continued, "Above all, I salute you, residents in Israel's north, for your sacrifice and steadfastness. You are a main pillar of Israel's strength."
The prime minister took upon himself the responsibility for the decision to go to war. "Responsibility for the operation rests with me. This is a responsibility that derives from the position of prime minister… The decision makes it clear that Israel will not tolerate any infringement of its sovereignty."
Olmert said the UN cease-fire resolution was a substantial achievement for the State of Israel. "There is no longer a state within a state, an entity that exploits Lebanon's weakness," he said.
The prime minister declared that the Lebanese government would be held responsible for what happened on its territory. "We will continue to work for the return of the abducted soldiers. We will do this without wearying, and using every means at our disposal, overt and covert," he continued, adding, "I believe that the UN resolution creates the conditions for the soldiers' return."
"The fighting brought about a change vis-a-vis the Hizbullah terror organization," he said. "The IDF's soldiers struck a hard blow, the extent of which is as yet unknown, at this organization. In every battle, the IDF's warriors had the upper hand. The organization's leaders went underground, and dealt in the spreading of lies.
"We will continue to pursue the leaders of Hizbullah everywhere at all times. This is our obligation, and we have no intention of apologizing or asking anyone's permission.
"We did not delude anyone. We said the rockets would fall. We had no choice."
On the criticisms raised against the conduct of the war, Olmert said, "I hear the voices expressing disquiet, even disappointment. I say to all - patience. The struggle against terror did not begin today, and will not end in the foreseeable future. This is a long, difficult, complicated struggle that demands restraint, determination, robustness, and stamina," "Every living thing lives and must identify dangers and maximize it strengths in order to survive," said opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu at the start of his Knesset speech. "There is a danger that threatens our people. Not only us, our soldiers and our economy, but our people."
"Since Hitler there has not been an enemy like Ahmedinejad," Netanyahu said. "He has Hamas in the south, and Hizbullah in the north. This is an existential peril."
"The people of the north stood heroically, without wailing and without weeping. They called for the fighting to continue. They were prepared to make sacrifices and to suffer so the work could be completed," Netanyahu said.
"People joined in the effort, from the business sector, teachers, doctors, nurses. The people opened their hearts, their wallets and their homes. In times of trouble we have to understand that we all have one destiny."
"We had difficulties running the war, and the rear. We will have to learn lessons and rectify the faults, but at this moment there are certain points of the utmost importance for securing our future.
"The concept of unilateral withdrawal has collapsed," Netanyahu said. "In 2000, we left Lebanon with no guarantees and no security arrangements. This erodes our deterrent and gives physical positions to our enemies.
"What is the conflict about?" he asked. "It is about our existence here facing our enemies. The truth is that if Israel were to put down its arms there would be no more Israel. If the Arabs were to put down their arms there would be no more war.
"No country can exist without alliances. Today we can forge alliances," he said. "We expect George Bush, who said he will not allow Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons, to remove this most terrible threat of all."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on August 14, 2006
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2006
You comment was recieved and soon will be published.
Thank you for posting your comment, which will be reviewed for publication.
Load more comments
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatens "dire consequences" following the kidnapping.
Questions over police response to kidnapping
Hours passed before a search operation was launched. Netanyahu holds Palestinians responsible.
Netanyahu bought furniture at public expense - report
"Yediot Ahronot": Attorney General is investigating if Netanyahu family bought furniture for its Caesarea private home.
Binyamin Ben-Eliezer questioned by police again
Ben-Eliezer's son Yariv is also suspected of receiving money from Avraham Nanikashvili.
Reuven Rivlin elected president
Rivlin defeated Meir Sheetrit 63:53 in the second round vote in the Knesset.
Meir Sheetrit discloses owning five homes
The Presidential candidate has bowed to public pressure and declared his assets.
Police find $600,000 cash in Ben-Eliezer's bank
The source of the money found in Binyamin Ben-Eliezer's safety deposit box is unclear.
Presidential candidate Ruby Rivlin discloses assets
Dalia Dorner also disclosed her wealth, but Meir Sheetrit refused.
Dalia Itzik bought Tel Aviv home for NIS 4.6m last year
The Presidential candidate and former Knesset Speaker also owns two apartments in Jerusalem.
The venture capitalist who wants to transform Israel
Labor MK Erel Margalit tells "Globes" about his plans to improve the Start-Up Nation.
Combat cameramen disprove Palestinian propaganda
A unit of highly trained combat soldiers uses cameras to document military operations.
Truth is proving stranger than folktale as Turkey's spins out of Prime Minister Erdogan's control.
Prof. Zvi Eckstein supports NIS 3.30-3.40/$ floor rate
The former deputy Bank of Israel Governor is the first senior figure from the financial system to advocate a floor rate.
2014 will be year of change
Forces reshaping the Middle East are coming to a head, with Russia taking a close interest, and the West seemingly indifferent.
Gains and losses for Middle East secularists
Recent developments in Egypt, Syria and Turkey have clarified some issues, and obfuscated others.
Developing robots for warfare
Israeli research sees the future battlefield dominated by robots and unmanned devices.
Geneva changes Middle East strategic map
As the consequences of the nuclear agreement with Iran emerge, regional powers are scrambling to adapt.
Egypt has no time to lose
Unless economic reforms are introduced quickly, the country is liable to relapse into Islamic extremism.
Strange goings on in Turkey
Two recent decisions by Turkish prime minister Erdoğan make it look as though he is losing his grip.
See you in six months, Rouhani
Israel may look isolated over the nuclear deal with Iran, but the cards could yet fall its way.
China is changing
The Third Plenum of the Communist Party of the Peoples' Republic of China marks a turning-point in all areas of Chinese life - with consequences for Israel.
French gov't proposes building 2 Tel Aviv light rail lines
The Green Line from Herzliya to Holon and the Purple Line from Kiryat Ono to Tel Aviv would cost NIS 30 billion to build.
Israel's factious coalition looks wobbly on Iran
Besides US opposition, the state of Israel's government makes an attack on Iran unlikely.
Budget cuts threaten 10,000 defense industry jobs
Senior executives warn many factories are in danger of closing due to the drying up of defense ministry's orders.