Settlers ‘leading Israel to disaster,’ says ex-IDF chief running for Knesset

Former IDF chief of staff, now a candidate for Knesset, sparks controversy after slamming efforts to nullify Disengagement Law and allow settlement in all of Judea and Samaria.

By World Israel News Staff

A leading candidate for the Knesset who previously served as the Israeli military’s chief of staff castigated the settlement movement Wednesday, claiming that efforts to settle all of Judea and Samaria are “leading Israel to disaster.”

According to recordings obtained by Israel Hayom, during a campaign stop in the northern Israeli town of Metullah Wednesday night, former IDF chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot told supporters that he had authorized the evacuation of Jews from the ruins of the town of Homesh in Samaria dozens of times during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s term as premier.

Homesh, one of four Israeli towns in Samaria that were evacuated during the 2005 Gaza Disengagement, when Israel withdrew unilaterally from the Strip, has been resettled numerous times by activists, despite the Disengagement Law barring Israelis from the area.

Eisenkot, who is running for the Knesset on Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s National Unity Party ticket, castigated the settlement movement for seeking to nullify the Disengagement Law and promote Jewish settlement across all of Judea and Samaria, warning that such efforts would result in a binational state and a “disaster” for Israel.

“The people who idea of settling everywhere, to create an irreversible situation, and to nullify the Disengagement Law – those people are leading us to disaster,” he said.

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“People who don’t understand this are pushing the idea of reversing the Disengagement Law, which would lead the country to become a binational state. That’s what Ben-Gvir is offering, along with Smotrich and parts of the Likud.”

The publication of Eisenkot’s comments sparked a backlash from right-wing lawmakers, who accused the National Unity Party of using religious candidates as a “fig leaf” for left-wing policies.

“If it walks like the Left and smells like the Left and quacks like the Left, then it is Left,” Religious Zionist Party chief MK Bezalel Smotrich tweeted in response.

“[Defense Minister Benny] Gantz and Eisenkot have wrapped their left-wing [party] up with several right-wing and religious fig leafs in order to trick right-wingers and shift their votes from the Right to the Left,” he added.

Ayelet Shaked’s Zionist Spirit party said it welcomed Eisenkot’s honesty regarding his positions.

“We take our hats off to Eisenkot, who in stark contrast to the collective deceit of the National Unity Party, is being perfectly honest.

“Supporting the evacuation of settlements isn’t right-wing, it is left-wing. That’s the difference between us and the National Unity Party. Zionist Spirit is the political home for ideological right-wingers who want to implement right-wing policies in the next government.”

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