Skip to comments.Sources close to him: Ariel Sharon to leave Likud.Will announce Mon., 11/21 and dissolve Knesset.
Posted on 11/20/2005 4:42:03 PM PST by strategofr
Sources close to Israeli prime minister: Ariel Sharon has finally decided to leave Likud. He will make the announcement Monday, Nov. 21, and is expected to ask President Katzav to dissolve the Knesset. This means a general election in 90 days unless another MK can form a viable government. Earlier, defense minister Shaul Mofaz said he would not follow Sharon out of Likud to form a centrist party. He is joining the Likud leadership race against half a dozen contenders led by Sharon's archrival Binyamin Netanyahu.
New Labor leader Amir Peretz broke up Sharons government coalition by ordering the partys eight ministers to hand in their resignations Monday and prepare for an early election. The decision was ratified by the Labor central committee Sunday. The partnership held together for 10 months around the common Sharon-Labor goal of evacuating the Gaza Strip.
This same goal split Likud irreparably, a large faction declaring war on the party leader prime minister Sharon. Since Peretzs election two weeks ago, Sharon found his options dwindling sharply. After turning his back on Likud, he has the choice of building a new party to fight the election or retiring.
Excuse my ignorance, but what does this mean?
Now, the Israeli right can return to its principles of peace through strength rather than unilateral concessions such as Sharon has made (with Bush/Rice pushing).
Painful but necessary. I see significant upside potential, but G-d forbid that Amir Peretz, the Peace Now and New Israel Fund leader who now heads the Labor party, becomes Prime Minister. It's time to redouble our efforts in praying for the State of Israel.
The end of the world.
"Painful but necessary."
Yes. Inevitable really. Sharon has blown it with this Gaza thing. He trusted us.
"I see significant upside potential,"
Where? I could use some "upside potential" from this situation.
The potential upside would come from the Likud Party once again standing for something -- for secular right wing values. This disengagement from Sharon can provide an opportunity for straight talk in Israeli politics, and for an end to the hypocracy in which the Likud loyalists are called "rebels", like something out of George Orwell's 1984. The disengagement of Sharon from Likud removes an increasingly undemocratic leader and creates an opportunity for democracy to flourish in the executive and legislative branches of Israel's government (now if Ruti Gavison and others who believe in a limited role for the judiciary are named to the Supreme Court -- or, better yet, if Israel adopts a constitution, then the revolution would be complete).
If the Likud, as the secular right-wing, can identify a leader with character, and form an alliance with the religious right wing, and if the combination (minus the 14 or so seats that are abandoning Likud to follow Sharon) can pick up another 6 or so seats, then there is the possibility of a right-wing/religious alliance.
Best of all, this would finally end the anti-democratic machinations of Shimon Peres.
The risks, of course, are that (a) Peretz finds his way into the government, either as Prime Minister or as one of the king-makers, and the revitalized left wing again leads Israel down the path of protekzia, corruption and socialism, together with radical dovish policies regarding the Palestinian arabs, or (b) Condeleezza Rice and her Arabist tendencies destroy the new government that emerges, if it is not led by Amir Peretz.
The first test will be to see if anyone who can command respect emerges to become Likud's new leader. At the moment, I have no idea whom that could be.
"The potential upside would come from the Likud Party once again standing for something -- for secular right wing values."
Thanks much; this is helpful.
Agree with your post fully.
It means that his plan to abandon the West Bank is on hold.