Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu points to the Old City of Jerusalem, October 23, 2007.
This shameful week will be remembered for eternity as a disgrace to Judaism and humiliation to Zionism.
Who appointed you, the Prime Minister of Israel, to trade in the Holy of Holies of our people, to give up the place the yearning for which has united us and kept us together for two thousand years of exile?
On the eve of World War II, Great Britain signed the disastrous Munich Accord, with the perverse thought that a prize to the Nazi aggressor would satiate his aggression. The terrible price for that mistake was paid by 6 million Jews.
Winston Churchill, who was chairman of the opposition, said at the time: “You could choose between disgrace and war. You chose disgrace, and you will receive war.”
We warned in the past about the disengagement [from Gush Katif] – and we were right. We warned against the excessive price of the Shalit deal, in which you released the worst of the terrorists – and we were right.
I, Benjamin Netanyahu, stand before you today, behind me the majority of the citizens of Israel, and I will tell you: Mr. Prime Minister, you also chose disgrace, and you will not escape from the war.
Anyone who does not understand that capitulation before threats and terrorism is not an option in this region, anyone who is prepared to play with the bedrock of our people’s culture as negotiations currency is not worthy and can no longer lead the State of Israel.
And no, Mr. Prime Minister, do not tell me that things you see from here cannot be seen from there. Not this time, not on this subject.
Leadership is tested not by building highway interchanges, and not by reducing taxes, but by making difficult decisions. Decisions that we may pay for in the short-term, but whose usefulness in the long-term is even greater. All the evil doers around the world have taken a careful look at Jerusalem this week, and instead of using this opportunity for a demonstration of our sovereignty, you planted with your cowardice a glimmer of hope in the hearts of our enemies, for whom every sign of weakness rekindles the belief that we can be defeated – and that our destruction is within reach.
Your past leaders, who have understood the historical and moral basis for our return to the Land of Israel, must be turning over in their graves. You have forgotten where you came from and where you are going, and for this your name will be carved in black letters in the chronicles of Zionism.
You, who in every speech bear in vain the name of Jerusalem, our eternal capital, have turned the phrase “The Temple Mount into our hands,” in the light of which we educate generations of children, to nothing more than a dead letter. You divided Jerusalem, you surrendered to terror, you lied to the public.
Come the next elections, and they will come soon, every voter will remember the celebrations that took place under your auspices in the early hours of the morning on the Temple Mount. Our national honor that was crushed to the ground and the hollow leaders who failed in their central mission: to stand upright and to defend the Jewish nation and its holy site against the lies and the pressures of our enemies.
The celebrations by the thousands of Muslims who cried out a few hours ago excitedly “Allahu Akbar” was justified. In all my years I do not recall such a resounding victory and such a dangerous loss. What will you say to the next bereaved family whose son or daughter will be shot by firearms brought into the Temple Mount because you can’t withstand the pressures?
Is that why we liberated Jerusalem? Is this why we have the strongest and most moral army in the world? Did our best sons, who fell for the sake of Israel’s independence, sacrifice their lives in order that we fold in the face of every threat?
Remember this day when we wake up in a month and discover that he who gives in to terrorism in Jerusalem, terrorism will pursue him everywhere in our country.
Mr. Prime Minister, it’s time to go home.
Thank you very much.
MK Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud), leader of the Knesset Opposition, April, 2008