Itzik: Now not the time for criticism
Photo: Haim Zach
Livni: Siniora stop crying, start doing
Photo: Channel 2
Siniora: Using his weakness
Livni: Siniora must wipe away his tears and start acting
Foreign minister says in special Knesset discussion, in which families of kidnapped soldiers participate, that Israel is paying for weakness of Lebanese government. Knesset speaker, MK Itzik, attacks war critics and decisions of political and military apparatuses: 'We cannot conduct this war in atmosphere of inquiry committee'
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni called Tuesday in her Knesset speech to the Prime Minister of Lebanon Fouad Siniora "to wipe away his tears and to start acting in order to create a better future for the citizens for whom he is crying." In a special discussion in which the families of the kidnapped soldiers participated, Livni related to Siniora's crying in front of the foreign ministers of the Arab world in Beirut Monday.
According to Livni, Israel is paying the price for the weakness of the Lebanese government, the same price the Lebanese people are paying. "Siniora is using his weakness to call the international community to strengthen him. We say to the international community not to leave its decisions as mere decisions on paper, which are later pointed to when they are preserved in archives. We must not give veto power to Hizbullah. With the international community understands Siniora's weakness it gives more power to Hizbullah."
The foreign minister mentioned the draft resolution submitted by the US and France to the UN Security Council, but refused to give Israel's official position on the issue, claiming that "we are also still asking to make corrections."
Among the changes Israel is asking be made are establishing Hizbullah, using their specific name in the draft, as the party that started the confrontation and not mentioning the kidnapped soldiers in the same clause as the prisoners. "At the same time, a discussion was held on the demands for an immediate ceasefire, at the end of which the future of Lebanon will be discussed, a demand which we claim will create a vacuum," Livni said.
"The understanding in the draft is that Hizbullah must stop their attacks against everyone, including soldiers, not only Israeli civilians. Israel is asked to suspend operations, but there is no demand to withdraw our forces. Of course we still have the right to respond," Livni clarified.
Itzik: They invented term 'refugee' for us
At the start of the discussion MK Itzik attacked those who criticize the war and the conduct of the military and political apparatuses saying that this is not the time to deal with "the day after." According to her, "There are those who it is important to them to be petty and find flaws in what we are doing while we are burying our dead. This is not the time. A country cannot conduct a way in an atmosphere of an inquiry committee.
She made a subtle criticism of the Arab Knesset members. "Also, for those among us who are calling in the name of humanitarianism to make a ceasefire, here and now with no conditions – the pictures from Lebanon are difficult to see, I admit, but they are no more difficult that pictures of thousands of Israeli children torn from their houses to the south away from the threat of rockets. They are no more difficult than the images of destruction and the burning of cities, towns, and agricultural areas from Haifa and northward. They are no more difficult than the pictures of the blood and killing in Kfar Giladi, Haifa, or Majdal Krum."
To those who are disturbed by the images of Lebanese refugees, Itzik said: "There is no nation who can teach us what it means to a refugee and uprooted. They invented the term 'refugee' for us. Enough of the self-flagellation and the self-righteous moral preaching. Anyway we are conducting this war with one hand tied behind our back because of our interest in protecting humanitarian and moral principles against a murderous enemy who makes no distinction and value of human life. I am still waiting for the first Hizbullah members, the first Lebanese, who will express regret or apologize for the suffering of innocent people on the Israeli side."
On the years gone by since IDF forces withdrew from Lebanon in 2000, Itzik said, "We exploited our exit to build guest houses, and on the other side of the border they exploited it to arm with rockets. When we cultivated agriculture, the economy, tourism, they cultivated the ability to launch rockets."
Like Livni, Itzik also made a call to the Lebanese prime minister saying, "Stop crying and start doing. Expel this excessive terrorist parasite called Hizbullah and out two nations will be able to go back to smiling."
Before the discussion, Itzik met with the families of the kidnapped soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser, Eldad Regev, and Gilad Shalit, who came on their own initiative to the Knesset to ensure that any political arrangement will include the return of their beloved. Itzik praised the restraint and the resilience of the families.