Peres plays dumb over Gaza rocket threat

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 |  by Staff Writer

Israeli President Shimon Peres on Wednesday innocently claimed that he had no idea when he was Israel's foreign minister in the run-up to the 2005 withdrawal from Gaza that the move would result in an escalation of terrorist rocket fire on southern Israel.

In an Independence Day interview with Israel's far-left Ha'aretz newspaper, Peres lamented of the ill-fated concession he was so in favor of: "I did not imagine that we would leave Gaza and they would fire [locally-produced] Kassams from there."

Of course, during the two years between when the Gaza disengagement was first suggested and its actual implementation Israel's military leadership repeatedly warned that terrorist elements would be bolstered, not sidelined, by the pullout, and that as a result Israel's security situation would worsen.

The government ignored those warnings even to the extent of denying then IDF Chief of Staff and disengagement opponent Gen. Moshe Ya'alon the traditional second term at the helm of the army.

Peres also displayed a clear lack of understanding of the mindset of the people he had called peace partners for the past decade-and-a-half when he told Ha'aretz that he never imagined the Palestinians would so overwhelming vote Hamas into power.

Suggesting that he has perhaps gained some perspective in recent years, Peres acknowledged that the most recent Palestinian terrorist uprising was an attempt to bring about the destruction of Israel.

Peres also said he has "identify a phenomenon similar to Hitler" in Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and criticized the international community for making the same mistake it had made with Hitler in its indifference to Ahmadinejad's antagonism toward and threats against the Jews and Israel.

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