In an interview this morning on Galey Israel radio with Daniel Seaman, director of Middle East Forum (MEF)-Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promoted his “principle of victory,” the latest example of MEF’s Israel Victory Project changing the conversation in Israel. In this interview, the Prime Minister joins the ranks of dozens of Israeli and American political, military, social, media and academic influencers MEF has engaged with who subsequently endorse and adopt Israel Victory. (The full interview can be heard in Hebrew, here.)
“My vision [of Israel victory]: no concessions…Everything I do, I do from a position of strength. Great strength and power,” said Netanyahu. “Israel will survive, and already flourishes and thrives as a result of a policy of strength.” The Prime Minister cited the U.S. recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights and Brazilian president Javier Bolsonaro’s visit to the Western Wall as recent fruits of this principle.
Netanyahu continued to articulate his point that Israel must achieve victory vis-à-vis the Palestinians stating, “Only with strength and power… [only] by standing up for our rights,” can Israel win its war against the Palestinians. “This is the ‘principle of victory’ that I promote,” he said.
When asked why Israel can not defeat Hamas, Netanyahu said: “I strike Iran and Syria with all our power. … Trust me, Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas] would be very happy if we went in [to Gaza] and did the dirty work for him, putting at risk the blood of our soldiers. We are prepared for that, of course, but not for his sake.”
“The Israel Victory Project started with an original idea by Daniel Pipes, developed over many years, and a campaign launched in 2017,” said MEF director Gregg Roman. “Throughout history, conflicts end when one side wins and the other gives up, its will to fight extinguished. This principle should be applied to Palestinian-Israeli arena. Now, we have begun to build a paradigm change in Israel: first Israel victory, then peace.”
Last month, new Israeli army chief Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi ordered Israel’s defense establishment to plan for “winning a clear, decisive, irrefutable victory in the next war it fights.” Lt. Gen. Kochavi was appointed by then Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who noted at the time that, “Victory is … the most important value” in choosing Israel’s next army chief.
The Israel Victory Project promotes the principle that a Palestinian defeat is a precondition to resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict. This means ditching the “peace process” in favor of Israel imposing its will on its enemies. It also means teaching the Palestinians the consequences of their actions – no more political process to nowhere; no more free aid; and no more coddling of forces dedicated to Israel’s destruction.