Ya'alon: We're All 'Settlers' to the Arabs

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CBNNew.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - In his first remarks since joining the Likud party, former IDF Chief of Staff Lt. General Moshe Ya'alon said Arab Israelis look at all Israelis as "settlers."

"Israeli Arabs, with four documents that they wrote over the past two years, are actually rejecting our right to an independent Jewish state. We are settlers, as far as they are concerned…in Tel Aviv, in Holon, all of us," Ya'alon said on Saturday.

" we have the power to deal with this phenomenon, both the military and economic power," he said.

Ya'alon said the peace initiatives led by the current government are leaving Israelis vulnerable,

"There are arguments about a solution, but we haven't even agreed on how to define the problem," he said.

"That is why arguing about solutions is the same as arguing about delusions," Ya'alon said. "In fact a particular solution is being forced upon us," he said.

"We want peace now, food now, everything now, as if this is fast food and fast peace, and all along the way we have lost much of our spirit, our power and our deterrence," he said.

Ya'alon said Foreign Minister and Kadima party chairwoman Tzipi Livni was not qualified to lead the country.

"I see signs in the street selling spin, trying to defraud us again with some sort of depiction that I see as lacking any essence," he said, referring to Livni's campaign posters that read, "Livni: What's good for the State."

"I see signs of someone chosen to lead Kadima when did she actually withstand a test of leadership," Ya'alon asked.

"She didn't do so during the Second Lebanon War, not during the actual decision-making process and not with regard to the UN Security Council Resolution 1701," he said.

Meanwhile, an aide to the former chief of staff said an Australian newspaper took Ya'alon's remarks about targeting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad out of context.

Media outlets have reported Ya'alon suggested Israel might need to assassinate Ahmadinejad.

"Ya'alon believes in using economic, political, and diplomatic means to defeat the Iranian regime, with the military option as the last resort …any other quotes on this matter are incorrect and have been taken out of context," the aide said.

In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald," published Monday morning in Australia, Ya'alon was asked about Iran.

"There is no way to stabilize the Middle East today without defeating the Iranian regime. The Iranian nuclear program must be stopped," Ya'alon said.

"It is a misconception to think that the Arab-Israeli conflict is the most important in the Middle East. The Shiite-Sunni schism is much bigger. The Persian-Arab divide is bigger. The struggle between national regimes and jihadism is much bigger. And I can't imagine the U.S. will want to share power in the Middle East with a nuclear-armed Iran," he said.

Islamic jihadists saw Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000, its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005 and the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006 as victories. It's time to change their perceptions and fight back, Ya'alon said.

Sources: YNet news, Haaretz, Israel National News

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