|05TELAVIV2169||2005-04-08 06:06:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Tel Aviv|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TEL AVIV 002169
1. (C) SUMMARY: Knesset member and former Minister of
Internal Security Uzi Landau told Codel Saxton that
disengagement will allow al-Qaeda to move into Gaza. Landau
proposed a joint working group between Congress and the
Knesset to devise ways to combat international terrorism
while still maintaining civil liberties and individual
rights. He said he has "no trust in (PA President) Abbas"
and thinks the U.S. and Europe should tie financial support
for the Palestinians to PA success at stopping terror. END
2. (C) In a March 31 meeting in Tel Aviv, Likud Knesset
member and former Minister of Internal Security Uzi Landau
met with Congressmen Jim Saxton and Geoff Davis to discuss
terrorism and the disengagement plan. House staff member Tom
Hawley joined the meeting, as did Emboffs, and a military
escort from the Codel.
3. (C) Noting that he used to support PM Sharon, Landau said
he believes that Sharon's plan for disengagement from Gaza is
a "major, major mistake" and will strengthen terrorist
organizations. He commented that, just as Hizballah "pushed
us out of Lebanon," Hamas will now be able to claim the same
achievement in Gaza. If Israel allows this trend to
continue, it will be pushed "all the way to Jerusalem."
Landau said he feels betrayed by the GOI, because
disengagement was not the policy he voted for. He supported
the idea of a referendum on disengagement, and blamed the
Labor party's support for PM Sharon for the failure of a
4. (C) Landau predicted that Israel's departure from Gaza
will leave al-Qaeda an opening to move in, a problem for both
Israel and the U.S. In response to staffer Hawley's
skepticism that al-Qaeda would "set up in Israel," Landau
commented that Gaza would no longer be "Israel" after
disengagement. He cited an article by a former IDG general
that he said shows that "excellent conditions" will exist for
al-Qaeda to move into Gaza once Israel ends its security
activities there. This "process will not lead to peace,"
5. (C) Landau predicted that the next session of the Knesset
(scheduled to begin May 16) would be "politically hot." He
contended that many Israelis view the territories as "our
land." He recalled that the withdrawal of Israeli settlers
from the Sinai created turmoil in Israel. In Landau's
estimation, Israel is 8now moving Jews from their own place."
Financial Support to Abbas
6. (C) Landau expressed concern that the U.S. and Europe are
now, in his view, offering the Palestinians generous
financial support without any requirement for reforms, even
after four years of terror that resulted in the deaths of
more than 1,000 Israelis. He called for financial
consequences if the Palestinians do not stop terror, and for
linkage between international financial support for the PA
and PA performance.
7. (C) Landau asserted, and Congressmen Saxton concurred,
that the U.S. and Israel need to demonstrate signs of resolve
to terrorist organizations. The Israeli withdrawals from
Lebanon and Gaza "leave the door open" to terror. The U.S.
and Israel, Landau said, are now conveying a message that
they will "break if organizations use terror" against them.
Opinion of Abbas
8. (C) In response to Congressman Saxton's request for a
personal assessment of Abbas, Landau said Abbas is "like
Arafat, but with a western suit and shaved... and (with) less
personal charisma." He has "no trust in Abbas," citing what
he said were Abbas' close relationship with Arafat since
1960, role as financier of the Munich Olympics massacre, and
Holocaust denials. Abbas, he charged, has said he objects to
violence only because it has not worked for the Palestians;
he could therefore change his mind at any time.
9. (C) When asked by Congressman Saxton about the level of
tension between Abbas and Hamas, Landau responded that
tension exists both as a political rivalry and in
disagreements over "how to run the war." While expressing
astonishment that "terrorist organizations" are allowed to
run in the Palestinian elections, Landau acknowledged that
Hamas administers the programs that "care for the people."
He claimed that Abbas has promised the terrorist groups not
to collect their weapons, and that the groups are now trying
to bring in more weapons. Landau predicted that the current
state of relative calm between Israelis and Palestinians
would prove to be only the "silence before the storm."
Congressman Saxton responded that Israel's adversaries have
seemed to use periods of calm throughout Israeli history as a
strategy to get concessions.
Congress/Knesset Working Group
10. (C) Landau suggested the creation of a joint working
group between Congress and the Knesset to focus on fighting
international terror while maintaining civil liberties. He
called for greater intelligence sharing about terrorism among
affected governments. Congressman Davis compared the
proposed working group to the Cold War-era ACE Mobile force,
which linked special force units from various countries
together. He said everyone understood then that "an attack
on one was an attack on all." Congressman Saxton called
Landau's proposal an "excellent suggestion."
11.(U) Codel staff did not clear this message.
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