The Zionist Conspiracy
Sunday, May 02, 2004
Sharon Must Accept Results
It is exactly 3 P.M. in New York. The vote has just ended, and Likud members have - by a very wide margin - wisely rejected the Sharon plan.
When he announced his intention to hold a Likud referendum, Prime Minister Sharon said:
"All Likud representatives, me included, will be bound by the results of the survey among all Likud Members... The Prime Minister holds the ultimate responsibility, but critical decisions of this nature should be brought to a democratic vote. That is why I decided to accept the proposal submitted by Agriculture Minister, Yisrael Katz, and hold a survey among all Likud members, who will have to decide in favor or against the plan I will present."
Once it became apparent that the Sharon plan would likely be defeated by Likud members, Sharon retracted his agreement to be bound by the results. As today's Haaretz reported: "Sharon vowed over the weekend to continue pushing his disengagement plan forward even if he fails to gain the support of his own party in the Likud internal referendum Sunday."
Apparently Sharon will ignore the Likud vote he called for and will either hold a national referendum or simply ask for cabinet approval for the plan. His attempt to hijack the Likud party must be stopped.
Sharon's antics are reminiscent of the 1972 Olympic gold medal basketball game between the USA and the USSR. The Soviets trailed by one point with three seconds to go, and failed to score. The referees decided that the clock should be reset. The Soviets missed again. However, the clock was reset again, and on their third try, the USSR scored to win the game.
Media reports have been suggesting that a large majority of Israelis support the Sharon plan and that he would easily win a national referendum. In fact, those suggestions are conclusory. Polls show that by a margin of about 20 percent, a majority of Israelis support unilateral withdrawal from Gaza. But a majority of Likud members also initially supported Sharon. While Sharon might well win a national referendum, that is far from certain. It is likely that a coalition of Russians opposed to acting weak in the face of terror, Likud members furious at Sharon's refusal to accept the party's rejection of his plan, and right-wingers, will, at the very least, make a national vote a close one. Further, it would be almost certain that those opposed to the plan would be more likely to vote than supporters. Even supporters of unilateral withdrawal are generally not too enthusiastic about evicting thousands of Jews from their homes and watching Hamas leaders triumphantly take over the communities.
Given that Sharon lost the Likud referendum by a double digit number, it is quite possible that he would also lose a national referendum.
Many opponents of the Sharon plan are not necessarily opposed to eventual withdrawal from Gaza - and parts of Judea and Samaria - under the right circumstances. But Sharon never bothered to explain why unilateral withdrawal is necessary now, in middle of an unrelenting terrorist campaign against all Israelis. He simply said that he wanted to withdraw, and others must accept his decision and support him. He did not bother to explain why he previously lambasted similar plans by others, or why he built the Gaza settlements in the first place. Sharon's aides issued leaks that Likud ministers who opposed the plan, such as Natan Sharansky, Yisrael Katz and Uzi Landau, would be fired immediately after the plan was approved in the referendum. They also labeled those who disagreed with them as fanatics. In the end, Likud members chose the integrity of Landau, Sharansky, Benny Begin and Moshe Arens over the arrogant and pompous attitude of Sharon, his son Omri, and Ehud Olmert.
Sharon now must either accept his defeat, or resign. After promising to be bound by the results, he cannot continue to push a plan that his party rejected.