Top Retired Israeli Security Officials Support Peace with Palestinians

Top Retired Israeli Security Officials Support Peace with Palestinians
by Stephen Lendman
Including 98 retired generals. Two former Mossad directors. Three retired national police chiefs – 103 in all.
Some reports said 105. Others 106. Key is scores of former high-ranking Israeli security officials embracing peace. Publicly.
Words mean nothing without meaningful action. Former officials can only influence public opinion. 
Much more than letter-writing is needed. Sustained longterm commitment matters most. 
A desire to end decades of conflict. The will to make it happen. Equitably. Polar opposite numerous phony Israeli peace plans. 
Meaningless. One-way. All take. No give. Dead on arrival for good reason. 
Former security officials’ letter said the following:
“To: The Prime Minister – Mr. Binyamin Netanyahu
Re: Political-regional outlook – two states for two peoples
Dear Prime Minister,
We, the undersigned, are IDF commanders and police officers in the reserves that have fought in Israel’s wars.
We know from experience the heavy and painful price exacted by these wars; we fought powerfully for the State in the hope that our children would live here in peace. 
But the reality is that we are again sending our children to the battlefields, watching them don uniforms and bulletproof vests to fight in Operation Protective Edge.
We were impressed by your level-headed leadership in Operation Protective Edge; in those circumstances Israel could not and cannot allow fire on our homes nor to put the public in danger. 
But this operation may turn out to be in vain if we do not act to prevent the next war. The government of Israel and its residents do not have the privilege of sitting around idly. 
It is time to take responsibility for our future and take advantage of the historical opportunity that has come up following Operation Protective Edge.
We are in the midst of the memorial days marking the fallen of the Yom Kippur War, a war that stemmed from the political blindness of the Israeli leadership. 
We are concerned that similar blindness will thwart the opportunity before us. 
Therefore we call on you to adopt the political-regional approach and begin negotiations with moderate Arab states and with the Palestinians (in the West Bank and in Gaza, too) based on the Saudi-Arab Peace Initiative, as proposed to Israel by the President of Egypt Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi at the recent international conference in Cairo, and Saudi Prince Turki Al Faisal last July.
Sir, you yourself have declared a political horizon and stated that there are shared interests. 
You know that the moderate Arab states want to promote together with us a political arrangement that will enable us to confront our mutual enemies together and stabilize the Middle East.
You know that this is the real answer to the Iranian threat and the terror threats of ISIL, Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaida and other terrorist organizations. 
You also know that only the political-regional approach and an arrangement with the moderate Arab states has a chance of bringing about an agreement with the Palestinians, stability, security and economic prosperity.
The political-regional approach brings with it great hope. Only this approach can create the dramatic political change that will lead to socio-economic growth and turn Israel into model society for its citizens, the Jews of the Diaspora and the nations of the world. 
Only this approach can be the weight that will tip the socio-economic scale, lower the high cost of living and impact the quality of life of the public that is raising its voice in economic protest.
This is not a question of right or left. 
This is not a question of fear. This is another idea for the solution of the conflict that is not based on negotiations with the Palestinians that have failed time and again.
Sir, please do not join those who, every other day, use warnings of danger as an excuse to do nothing. We know what is necessary to achieve security for Israel, and we know that regional cooperation will contribute to this goal.
There is a high chance that this initiative will succeed! But even if it doesn’t, you owe this to the people of Israel.
Only then can we look our children and grandchildren in the eye and say: ‘We tried; we are sorry, we did not succeed.’
We expect of you a courageous initiative, leadership and vision.
As a fighter, you were raised on the slogan ‘only he who dares, succeeds.’
As a politician, adopt the slogan ‘only he who initiates, succeeds.’
Lead the way and we will stand behind you!”
Signatories include:
Zamir, Zvi, former head of Mossad, Major General (res). Yatom, Danny, former MK; former head of Mossad; Major General (res). 
Hefetz, Assaf, Commissioner (ret.) Turner, Yaakov, Commissioner (ret.) ; Brigadier General (res.) Shaffir, Herzl, Commissioner (ret.). 
Major General (res.) Avigdor, Gideon, Brigadier General (res.) Even Zahav, Yehu, Brigadier General (res.). Egozi, Shlomo, Brigadier General (res.) Agmon, Uri, Brigadier General (res.) Agmon, Yoram, Brigadier General (res.). Ohayon, Berti, Major General (ret.- police) Ophir, Gabi, Major General (res.) Oron, Israela, Brigadier General (res.) Ilya, Shlomo, Brigadier General (res.) Almog, Avraham, Brigadier General (res.) Almog, Zeev, Major General (res.) Erez, Haim, Major General (res.) Erez, Oded, Brigadier General (res.) Asher, Danny, Brigadier General (res.) Baharav, Yisrael, Brigadier General (res.) Biton, Dan, Major General (res.) Ben Bashat, David, Major General (res.) Ben David, Shimon, Brigadier General (res.) Ben Nun, Aviyahu, Major General (res.) Ben Porat, Mordechai, Brigadier General (res.) Ben Reuven, Eyal, Major General (res.) Bar, (Y.B.) Yehuda, Brigadier General (res.) Bar-David, Avraham, Brigadier General (res.) Baram, Amos, Brigadier General (res.) Barak, Haim, Brigadier General (res.) Gavish, Yeshayahu (Shaike), Major General (res.) Givoli, Shaul, Major General (ret.- police); Brigadier General (res.) Gonen, Yosef, Brigadier General (res.) Gofen, Haim, Brigadier General (res.) Goren, Giora, Brigadier General (res.) Gazit, Shlomo, Major General (res.) Gross, Ehud, Brigadier General (res.) Dolev, Eran, Brigadier General (res.) Dotan, Yishai, Brigadier General (res.) Dotan, Rami, Brigadier General (res.) Waks, Shlomo, Brigadier General (res.) Vardi, Danny, Brigadier General (res.) Zohar, Avi, Brigadier General (res.) Zacharin, Zeev, Brigadier General (res.) Zamir, Itzhak, Brigadier General (res.) Zaken, Nahum, Brigadier General (res.) Haike, Giora, Brigadier General (res.) Hefetz, Shimon, Brigadier General (res.) Tiller, Avi, Major General (ret.- police) Tal, Alex, Major General (res.) Taran, Benny, Major General (res.) Yutov, Herzl, Major General (ret.- police) Yoseph, Eyal, Brigadier General (res.) Yaari, Aviezer (Avi), Major General (res.) Yitzhaki, Yair, Major General (ret.- police) Yitzhaki, Sasson, Brigadier General (res.) Yaron, Amos, Major General (res.) Kitri, Ron, Brigadier General (res.) Lev, Giora, Brigadier General (res.) Lev Tzur, Uzi, Brigadier General (res.) Levi, Asher, Brigadier General (res.) Levin, Amiram, Major General (res.) Lapid, Ephrain, Brigadier General (res.) Lapidot, Amos, Major General (res.) Morag, Ami, Brigadier General (res.) Mizrachi, Avi, Major General (res.) Mizrachi, Aryeh, Brigadier General (res.) Mitzna, Amram, MK; Major General (res.) Maron, Menachem (Modi), Major General (res.) Spector, Yiftach, Brigadier General (res.) Spector, Moshe, Brigadier General (res.) Ivri-Sukenik, Moshe, Major General (res.) Eilam, Uzi, Brigadier General (res.) Eini, Menachem,, Brigadier General (res.) Einan, Menachem, Major General (res.) Amir, Amos, Brigadier General (res.) Inbar, Menashe, Brigadier General (res.) Inbar, Shlomo, Major General (res.) Peled, Elad, Major General (res.) Palant, Emi, Brigadier General (res.) Tsur, David (Tsuri) , MK, Major General (ret.- police) Kadmiel, Doron, Brigadier General (res.) Koren, Zeev, Brigadier General (res.) Keinan-Kauli, Eitan, Brigadier General (res.) Kanor, Zvi. Brigadier General (res.) Krauza, David, Major General (ret.- police) Keren, Aryeh, Brigadier General (res.) Rabin, Yitzhak, Brigadier General (res.) Rothschild, Danny, Major General (res.) Rom, Giora, Major General (res.) Ron, Elik, Major General (ret.- police) Ram (Furman), Giora, Brigadier General (res.) Ram, Micha, Major General (res.) Reshef, Amnon, Major General (res.) Saguy, Uri, Major General (res.) Shachor, Oren, Major General (res.) Stern, Elazar, MK; Major General (res.) Shalom, Hagai, Major General (res.) Sheffi, Shaul, Brigadier General (res.) Shaked, Emanuel (Mano), Brigadier General (res.) Sharon, Menachem, Brigadier General (res.) Sharoni, Nati, Major General (res.) Tamari, Dov, Brigadier General (res.)
Israel’s YNet News said Major General (ret.) Amnon Reshef initiated the above letter. Getting scores of other top retired security officials to be signatories.
“If you add up the total number of the years they spent in the Israel Defense Forces, the Israel Police and the Mossad, you come to the incomprehensible sum of more than 3.5 millennia in the service of state security,” said YNet News.
They’re with others wanting Netanyahu “not to join the ranks of those who use threats as an excuse for resting on our laurels, and to initiate a political process.”
They’re not ordinary former security officials. They’re important ones. Major figures during active service.
It begs the question. Why now? Why not earlier? When it counted most. When they held positions able to make a difference.
Why ruin things now. By vilifying Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah irresponsibly. Wrongfully accusing them of terrorism. Supporting Operation Protective Edge aggression. Instead of denouncing it.
These figures are now largely sideline observers. It bears repeating. Letters have little impact. Policies alone matter.
Nothing suggests forthcoming change. Netanyahu can’t be trusted. Representing the worst of hardline Israeli governance.
A serial liar. A war criminal multiple times over. Operation Protective Edge is Exhibit A. So are repeated Israeli ceasefire violations.
Blaming Palestinians for Israeli crimes. Waging premeditated wars of aggression. Getting away with mass murder and destruction.
Doing so unaccountably. Former top Israeli security officials have their own crosses to bear. 
Better late than never to think responsibly. Far more is needed to change decades of Israeli lawlessness. Nothing in sight suggests it.
Most everything indicates worse ahead. Endless wars. Police state repression. Exploitive monied interests taking full advantage.
War profiteering on a grand scale. Greater than ever ecological destruction. Neoliberal harshness. Institutionalized inequality. 
In Israel. America. Other Western societies. Carving up whole continents for profit. Plundering world resources. 
Exploiting ordinary people everywhere. Fast-tracking toward tyranny and ruin. Israel a microcosm of widespread institutionalized ruthlessness.
Ongoing for longer than most people can remember. Far worse than ever now. A metastasizing cancer, according to John McMurtry. 
Reflecting social collapse. Ecological destruction. Maximizing money gains to make more of it. Combined with unrestrained power.
Unsustainable by any standard. Risking humanity’s survival. Change requires committed opposition. Nothing half way.
Staying the course. Opposing business as usual. Doing it because it matters. Survival demands no other choice.
Retired Major General (res.) Hagai Shalom “fear(s) for (Israel’s) future,” he said.
“The situation here has never been a simple one, but the picture appears blacker than usual of late. There’s a lack of purpose. You don’t see anyone taking the lead along a chosen path, towards hope.” 
“Prime Minister Netanyahu is very talented and he’s a fighter, but he’s caught up with his own political survival  – and that, rather than the fate of the country, is the main focus of his concerns. Unfortunately, the country needs more these days.”
“I don’t know if the petition will lead to change, but we have to start somewhere. We need to find a way to unite all the sane voices, inside and outside government, so as to put an end to the processes that lead us into dangerous situations.” 
“And I’m talking about Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid. Anyone who chooses to remain in the government, from the right or the center, and lends a hand to the government without instigating a political process is committing a very big sin.”
Israeli policies affect regional ones. Eurasian ones. Global ones. Justice or injustice. Democracy or despotism. War or peace. Survival or annihilation. 
Change begins with understanding. Knowing what’s ongoing is unsustainable. Rejecting business as usual. 
Supporting meaningful change. Enlisting former high-ranking officials elsewhere to join them. 
Ordinary people with them. A worldwide campaign for responsible change. 
Demanding policies with teeth. Nothing less. Knowing survival depends on it. 
At the same time, nothing in prospect looks encouraging. Things today are more dire than ever.
World peace hangs by a thread. Lunatics running things in America, Israel and rogue EU states threaten it. 
Humans may become the only species ever to destroy itself. Taking virtually all other life forms with it. If preventing possible annihilation isn’t important enough, what is?
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

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