“Israel is preparing for a long war that could spread to western territories. The possibility that the Lebanese Muslim Hezbollah terrorists may also join the war cannot be ruled out,” said Žygimantas Pavilionis, Chairman of the Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, in conversation with Birutė Vyšniauskaitė from lrytas.lt, while currently visiting Israel with his Latvian and Estonian counterparts
Sharing his knowledge of the war provoked by the Hamas terrorists in Gaza against Israel on 7 October, the Head of the Committee said that he had heard again and again, in his contacts with local politicians, that nobody expected a war: “It happened because Hamas carried out a low-level attack with Kalashnikovs and some rudimentary drones”.
You have visited Jerusalem. What is the situation there – is the Palestinian West Bank calm?
– I was in Jerusalem, just two hundred metres from the Palestinians. The city is quietly arming itself. Territorial defence squads are being set up, as in Ukraine, because the Jews believe that the Palestinians in the West Bank could do at any time what Hamas did.
On the other hand, while Hamas had and still has thousands of rockets, Hezbollah has hundreds of thousands of rockets made in Iran, parts of which are Russian. Suppose all this is fired at Israel from all sides. I heard the word Holocaust in Israel today. The Speaker of the Knesset, Amir Ohana, who has previously described attacks on Israel without ever using the word Holocaust, said that what Hamas has done is already a Holocaust.
Absolutely everything that was alive and moving was killed. It was not only terrorists who were killed. After they broke through the border between Gaza and Israel, ordinary Gazans burst through the holes with the most rudimentary weapons, and they also used daggers to kill any Jews who happened to be in their way.
The most regrettable thing is that Israel did everything the West asked in 2005 for Gaza. The Jews even took their cemetery out of the area. Moreover, for 20 years, they have been employing Gazans in the Israeli territories, providing water and electricity, thinking that this would civilise the area.
However, as Israeli intelligence shows, those Gazans employed in Israel gathered information on police officers and residents of kibbutzim near Gaza and killed or took them hostage.
– Surely Israel will now have to fundamentally reassess its policy towards the Gaza Strip and other Arab territories?
– The West, particularly the European Union, has consistently encouraged the Jews to treat the Palestinians peacefully and has funded schools in Gaza. Meanwhile, the Palestinians have been using this money to teach their children in schools from the very first grade, using textbooks that explain how to kill Jews.
– It is now time for the Jews to have the hour of truth. Do the words ‘never again’, repeated repeatedly to them and themselves, still have meaning?
– Yuli Edelstein, Chairman of the Knesset’s Committee on National Defence and Foreign Affairs, who comes from Ukraine, said it very well: ‘The Western world is on our side when they kill us’. He said that the Baltic countries have always behaved and are behaving differently because they have a similar experience to Israel.
– What is the assessment of the talk in recent days that Israeli generals have conspired and plotted against the current government of Benjamin Netanyahu, and that this is why there was not a timely confrontation with the Hamas terrorists?
– Absolutely not. All the parties in Israel are now united. I am afraid that this tragedy is due to the fact that Israel was complacent and built up the most advanced defences but did not think that the neighbour across the border might have a dagger, a Kalashnikov and might take a very long time to prepare for an attack.
In my opinion, Hamas, with the help of Iran and Russia, has been preparing for this war for at least a year. The plans uncovered by Israeli intelligence prove this.
– Why did Israeli intelligence not know about this, did not see it a year ago?
– I do not want to talk about that now. I would think that the Israelis themselves will find out when Hamas is wiped off the face of the earth. We have to stand with them now and understand them because there is essentially a genocide being committed against Israel right now.
As I said, the main mistake of the Jews was that they wanted to live; they wanted peace. That is what authoritarian states take advantage of.
– Do the Jews not now feel guilty that, when Russia attacked Ukraine, they were not unconditionally on the latter’s side, that Mr Netanyahu flirted with Vladimir Putin?
– On this issue, too, there is a turning point in Israel. Until 24 February 2022. The Knesset was in a race to see who would become chairman of the Israeli-Russian group. However, after Russia’s war against Ukraine, no one wanted to be chairman of the group. And there was also a turning point in the minds of those who thought otherwise after 7 October.