IDF Generals' Letter: 'Embrace Saudi Plan'

Here’s the complete text of the open letter to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from 100-plus retired generals, Mossad directors and national police commissioners. The translation was supplied by the Israel Policy Forum and appears on their website here. The Hebrew original, which was prepared as an advertisement in the Israeli press, is here (PDF).

Reading the complete text, two points emerge that I got wrong in yesterday’s blog post, in which I described the statement based on two Israeli press accounts. First, there are 103 signers, not 106 (as Mako-Channel 2 reported) or 105 (as Yediot Ahronot-Ynet reported). That’s two former Mossad directors and three national police commissioners (four of those five left the IDF with ranks of brigadier or major general) plus 98 other retired brigadier and major generals.

Second, the letter raises the Arab Peace Initiative directly and forcefully, not implicitly. It’s fair to say that the existence of the initiative (text here) is central to the generals’ argument: The Arab states have announced unanimously (with the Palestinian Authority included as a voting member) that they are willing to make full peace with the state of Israel and “consider the Arab-Israeli conflict ended” under certain circumstances, and that the circumstances can be negotiated. It may be that the gaps between Israel’s needs and their demands are too wide to be bridged. But why not find out?

Here’s the other question, directed to our readers: Many of you have responded to this and similar arguments by raising threats to Israel that you don’t think are taken seriously in this approach. My question: What do you know that these guys don’t? And if Israel’s generals are so dumb, how have they managed to keep Israel alive this long? Do you think they’ve won seven wars without understanding the nature of the threats they were facing down?

Here’s the letter:

Undersigned: Zamir, Zvi, former head of Mossad, Major General (res). Yatom, Danny, former MK; former head of Mossad; Major General (res). Hefetz, Assaf, Commissioner (ret.) Turner, Yaakov, Commissioner (ret.) ; Brigadier General (res.) Shaffir, Herzl, Commissioner (ret.) Major General (res.) Avigdor, Gideon, Brigadier General (res.) Even Zahav, Yehu, Brigadier General (res.) Egozi, Shlomo, Brigadier General (res.) Agmon, Uri, Brigadier General (res.) Agmon, Yoram, Brigadier General (res.) Ohayon, Berti, Major General (ret.- police) Ophir, Gabi, Major General (res.) Oron, Israela, Brigadier General (res.) Ilya, Shlomo, Brigadier General (res.) Almog, Avraham, Brigadier General (res.) Almog, Zeev, Major General (res.) Erez, Haim, Major General (res.) Erez, Oded, Brigadier General (res.) Asher, Danny, Brigadier General (res.) Baharav, Yisrael, Brigadier General (res.) Biton, Dan, Major General (res.) Ben Bashat, David, Major General (res.) Ben David, Shimon, Brigadier General (res.) Ben Nun, Aviyahu, Major General (res.) Ben Porat, Mordechai, Brigadier General (res.) Ben Reuven, Eyal, Major General (res.) Bar, (Y.B.) Yehuda, Brigadier General (res.) Bar-David, Avraham, Brigadier General (res.) Baram, Amos, Brigadier General (res.) Barak, Haim, Brigadier General (res.) Gavish, Yeshayahu (Shaike), Major General (res.) Givoli, Shaul, Major General (ret.- police); Brigadier General (res.) Gonen, Yosef, Brigadier General (res.) Gofen, Haim, Brigadier General (res.) Goren, Giora, Brigadier General (res.) Gazit, Shlomo, Major General (res.) Gross, Ehud, Brigadier General (res.) Dolev, Eran, Brigadier General (res.) Dotan, Yishai, Brigadier General (res.) Dotan, Rami, Brigadier General (res.) Waks, Shlomo, Brigadier General (res.) Vardi, Danny, Brigadier General (res.) Zohar, Avi, Brigadier General (res.) Zacharin, Zeev, Brigadier General (res.) Zamir, Itzhak, Brigadier General (res.) Zaken, Nahum, Brigadier General (res.) Haike, Giora, Brigadier General (res.) Hefetz, Shimon, Brigadier General (res.) Tiller, Avi, Major General (ret.- police) Tal, Alex, Major General (res.) Taran, Benny, Major General (res.) Yutov, Herzl, Major General (ret.- police) Yoseph, Eyal, Brigadier General (res.) Yaari, Aviezer (Avi), Major General (res.) Yitzhaki, Yair, Major General (ret.- police) Yitzhaki, Sasson, Brigadier General (res.) Yaron, Amos, Major General (res.) Kitri, Ron, Brigadier General (res.) Lev, Giora, Brigadier General (res.) Lev Tzur, Uzi, Brigadier General (res.) Levi, Asher, Brigadier General (res.) Levin, Amiram, Major General (res.) Lapid, Ephrain, Brigadier General (res.) Lapidot, Amos, Major General (res.) Morag, Ami, Brigadier General (res.) Mizrachi, Avi, Major General (res.) Mizrachi, Aryeh, Brigadier General (res.) Mitzna, Amram, MK; Major General (res.) Maron, Menachem (Modi), Major General (res.) Spector, Yiftach, Brigadier General (res.) Spector, Moshe, Brigadier General (res.) Ivri-Sukenik, Moshe, Major General (res.) Eilam, Uzi, Brigadier General (res.) Eini, Menachem,, Brigadier General (res.) Einan, Menachem, Major General (res.) Amir, Amos, Brigadier General (res.) Inbar, Menashe, Brigadier General (res.) Inbar, Shlomo, Major General (res.) Peled, Elad, Major General (res.) Palant, Emi, Brigadier General (res.) Tsur, David (Tsuri) , MK, Major General (ret.- police) Kadmiel, Doron, Brigadier General (res.) Koren, Zeev, Brigadier General (res.) Keinan-Kauli, Eitan, Brigadier General (res.) Kanor, Zvi. Brigadier General (res.) Krauza, David, Major General (ret.- police) Keren, Aryeh, Brigadier General (res.) Rabin, Yitzhak, Brigadier General (res.) Rothschild, Danny, Major General (res.) Rom, Giora, Major General (res.) Ron, Elik, Major General (ret.- police) Ram (Furman), Giora, Brigadier General (res.) Ram, Micha, Major General (res.) Reshef, Amnon, Major General (res.) Saguy, Uri, Major General (res.) Shachor, Oren, Major General (res.) Stern, Elazar, MK; Major General (res.) Shalom, Hagai, Major General (res.) Sheffi, Shaul, Brigadier General (res.) Shaked, Emanuel (Mano), Brigadier General (res.) Sharon, Menachem, Brigadier General (res.) Sharoni, Nati, Major General (res.) Tamari, Dov, Brigadier General (res.)

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forward.

Author

J.J. Goldberg

J.J. Goldberg

Jonathan Jeremy “J.J.” Goldberg is editor-at-large of the Forward, where he served as editor in chief for seven years (2000-2007).

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IDF Generals' Letter: 'Embrace Saudi Plan'

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