Photo Credit: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90
Itamar Ben Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich in the Knesset, December 19, 2022.

Finance Minister and Religious Zionism Chairman Bezalel Smotrich said during a meeting of his Knesset faction on Monday that, “Unfortunately, the decision to allow the flow of fuel to the Gaza Strip is a grave mistake,” for which he blamed the exclusive group that comprises PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s war cabinet.

Smotrich stated: “I opposed it at the cabinet meeting and I think the way to win the war is to subdue the Hamas state in Gaza and to do that the state system in Gaza must be collapsed, and we should not allow anything that could help Hamas continue to fight and harm our soldiers and citizens.”


He suggested that letting fuel shipments into Gaza is a grave mistake that was committed by the war cabinet, and stressed that “this grave mistake necessitates an expansion of the War Cabinet.”

Smotrich elaborated: “Opinions that have not been heard to this day must be said and heard around the war cabinet table. Directions and steps that have not been considered so far and thinking that challenges the conceptzia being held by many good people, the concept that, to a large extent, brought us to the situation we are in today.”

“Around the table where the decisions are made must sit people who cried out for years against the conceptzia, who demanded the elimination of Hamas, including the occupation of the Gaza Strip to remove the threat to the State of Israel.”

The term “conceptzia” is a throwback to the 1973 Yom Kippur War, when the security apparatus poo pooed warnings that the Egyptians and Syrians were about to attack Israel because the paramount thinking held that they couldn’t possibly do it without the benefit of air superiority. In October 2023, the dominant conceptzia suggested Hamas was afraid of an all-out confrontation with Israel and could be tamed with more Israeli work permits for Gazans.

Only the crazy, extreme-right-wing folks advocated going about the fierce annihilation of Hamas, as they are advocating today the carpet bombing of Hezbollah in south Lebanon. But they are not allowed into the inner sanctum of the war cabinet, where only the politicians and generals who were responsible for the massacre of October 7 are allowed.

Smotrich mentioned his battle against the conceptzia people inside the security apparatus over the transfer of tax and customs funds to the Palestinian Authority. So far, the finance minister has refused to transfer these funds, a portion of which is designated by PA law as salaries to Terrorists behind bars and the families of dead terrorists. Smotrich argues that the PA has broken the Oslo Accords several times over and as a result, he is not obligated to live up to the same accords. The conceptzia people are upset because they see this as harming the stability of the Palestinian Authority, which Smotrich believes should not only be destabilized, it should be toppled. Also, part of the money is routinely transferred from the PA to the Hamas in Gaza.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir on Monday night warned against a deal with Hamas and protested the conceptzia war cabinet’s decision to allow fuel trucks into Gaza. He criticized the war cabinet, saying, “They talked about a deal of 80 hostages, came down to 70, then down to 50. They said they won’t send food in, after that they said they don’t send fuel in, now they do.”

“I ask, how can they do that? How can they put a drop of fuel in there, when they know the Red Cross is not allowed to visit the babies, the children, the women? It’s stupid! It’s a hallucination! Unfortunately, Gantz and Eisenkot are dragging the cabinet to a bad place.”

Mind you, Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot were the IDF chiefs of staff who, each in his turn, pushed through a vast program to cut the IDF infantry and armored corps by half, to deliver a slim, smart army that relies on technology to secure the country. Yes, children, the conceptzia has two daddies, Gantz and Eisenkot, and they both run the war cabinet.

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