Former IDF Chief Says Israel Should Withdraw From West Bank Unilaterally


gabi-ashkenaziIsrael should define its borders, even if this means doing so unilaterally, and separate from the Palestinians, former IDF chief of General Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said today.

Ashkenazi’s statement, which amounted to a call for Israel to unilaterally withdraw from much of the West Bank, followed similar statements from other high-ranking officials over the past several years, the result of mounting frustration over the lack of a peace settlement and Israel’s continued hold on the West Bank.

“Israel should reduce the extent of the conflict with the Palestinians. The separation is in Israel’s interests,” said Ashkenazi, speaking at the Israeli Business Conference in Tel Aviv. “Israel must recognize the limits of its power and cooperate with forces that support Israeli interests.”

Ashkenazi said Israel should not necessarily wait for a peace deal to pull out of the West Bank, but did not say where borders should be drawn, saying only that they would need to have wide purchase among Israelis.

Israel carried out a similar move in 2005, when it left the Gaza Strip without an agreement with the Palestinians in place.

“We can take the long view toward negotiations, and when the Palestinians want peace, let them come and make peace,” Ashkenazi added. “Let’s put a proposal on the table – an outline that 80 percent of Israelis agree on today, in my opinion – and start working toward it. We should take the initiative.”

Earlier this year, Defense Minister Ehud Barak floated the idea of Israel pulling out of the West Bank on its own if talks with the Palestinians failed to see any progress.

Ashkenazi served as chief of staff from 2007 to 2011. Though widely thought to be eyeing a political career, current law requires high-ranking army officers to wait three years before entering the political arena.

Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced ostensible peace partner Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for his participation in an ongoing reconciliation effort with Hamas, saying that the latter group has “no intention of compromising with us; they want to destroy the state.”

In turn, Abbas warned Israel not to withhold tax revenues that were to be transferred to the Palestinian Authority, saying he would go to the International Criminal Court if Jerusalem did not honor its agreements.

Source: Times of Israel

{ Israel}


  1. Listen to the man. If anybody knows what he’s talking about it’s the former Chief of Staff, not some vote-hunting politician. And #1 – the situation in the West Bank and Gaza are different. But they won’t be for long if we keep up what we’re doing now.

  2. Who is crazier? This nut case or Olmert? Its always “former” this & “former” that. Why can’t they ever say these things when they are actually in power? What’s all this arm chair quarterbacking?

  3. “1. Comment from send in
    December 9, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    what a genius!!!! remember what happened when we pulled out o Gaza??!!??!!

    “We”? Who is this “we” you write of? I seriously doubt that you have ever traveled any further east in you entire life than Coney Island.

  4. “And this guy was former IDF chief of General Staff??


    No, “AlbertEinstein”, he is (and always will be)a former Chief of Staff.

    (If you want to use such a screen name, please try to use just a tiny bit of the ??? the nae Albert Einstein implies.

    Alternately you might consider ???? ?????? ?????.

  5. Pulling out of Gaza left us with supplying them with gas, fuel, medical bordercrossings etc. etc. What Ashkenazi means is I suppose, is defining borders like between the US and Mexico. Two COMPLETELY seperate countries, including customs etc. If afterwards they will dare to attack, you are dealing with a hostile COUNTRY. Then all means can be put into effect to defend Israël. No excuses anymore, since the US or any other country, would not accept another country attacking its territory. Now we are controlling areas where they are living and we have a certain responsibility for their wellbeing. In the Ashkenazy scenario we have nothing to do with then anymore.

  6. Listen to Ashkenazi – he’s had the experience of trying to be the one walking the line between controlling the Palestinians, controlling the “price tag” settlers, international public opinion, and Israeli opinion.

    #12 is right. If we walk out we’ll be off the hook, and we’ll have a lot better chance of keeping those settlememts which are established close to the Green Line.