In February 2009, shortly after the end of operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip, Israel’s Prime Minister, then the leader of the opposition, stood at the entrance to the town of Ashkelon, straightened his back, looked into the television cameras and thus spoke:
“We are here at the entrance to Ashkelon. This morning a Grad missile has landed here. By chance – only by chance – a miracle took place here and the children who showed me the shrapnel were not hurt. But we cannot rely on miracles. We need action, and an action that will remove the threat. There is only one action that will do it, and that is to topple the Hammas regime in Gaza.”
“I have warned of a Hammastan a few years ago. I have warned that missiles will fly from Gaza to Ashkelon. Tzipi Livni and Kadima ridiculed it. They brushed off these threats. They said that we are prophets of doom, that we scare the people. It turns out that we could see clearly what they in their blindness did not see. And not only did they not see the danger, when it eventually materialised, they showed weakness in facing it. They held back, they had a ‘Tahadia’ (a cease fire in Arabic – MCP), they let Hammas arm itself with more and more missiles, and finally, when they took action and the army did an exceptional job, Tzipi Livni and the Kadima government stopped the IDF before the job was completed.”
“So I want to say here and now – we will not stop the IDF. We will complete the job. We will demolish the terror regime of the Hammas. We will return security to the people of Ashkelon, to the people of Ashdod, and the people of Shderot and Beer Sheva and Yavne, and we will return security to the people of Israel.”
“When I stood there today, at the hit site, there was a mother there, a mother, holding a little baby. And she was crying. She was saying: “Look at this baby, look, a two year old child, look at her, look – she is scared”, and she was crying, she was sobbing, and she was saying to me: “Do something, help us”. So I want to say to that mother and to all the mothers in Israel – we will do, and how. We will do what had to be done a long time ago and Kadima did not do. We will demolish the terror regime of Hammas. We will return security to you. To all of you.”
Nearly three years have passed. You have appointed the Kadima government Defence Minister as the Defence Minister of your own government. Missile smuggling into the Gaza Strip has continued unabated with their quantities increased and their quality improved, the firing of missiles on towns and cities in the south of Israel continues, Hammas is sitting securely on its post, greatly strengthened by the shameful Gilad Shalit deal. Restraint and meek responses go on with excuses like “We have to consider the sensitivities of the Egyptian Military Council.” and “Things you see from here, you cannot see from there.”
Mr. Prime Minister – Israelis have indeed a short memory, but not that short. You made a solemn promise – to the crying mother of that scared baby, to the inhabitants of the south and to the people of Israel, You promised – and you did not keep your promise.
So I am calling on you now – keep you word, bring back Israel’s deterrence, or clear your desk for someone better than you.