April 19, 2004

THE INEVITABLE IMPOSSIBLE:

Israeli Rightists Endorse Plan to Withdraw From the Gaza Strip (JAMES BENNET, 4/19/04, NY Times)

As Palestinians massed in Gaza City to vent rage at Israel over its killing of a top militant leader on Saturday night, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon picked up crucial support on Sunday from right-wing leaders for his plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip without a peace agreement.

The endorsements, including one from former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meant that Mr. Sharon would almost surely prevail in a May 2 referendum on his plan within his dominant right-wing faction, Likud, Israeli political analysts said.

If he wins the referendum, Mr. Sharon will for the first time commit Likud — a bulwark for the goal of a Greater Israel — to evacuating some settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, which Israel occupied in the 1967 war.

"With great difficulty and with a broken heart I have come to the conclusion that the people today want the possibility of change," said Limor Livnat of Likud, as she reluctantly backed the plan.

Seeming tired and downcast, Mr. Netanyahu, also of Likud, appeared on Israel's Channel 1 television on Sunday night to argue that he was acting as a responsible leader, even as he disappointed his most ardent rightist supporters.


Bibi knows what side his bread is buttered on.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 19, 2004 8:16 AM
Comments

Doing anything else at this juncture would also be seen as sabotaging Bush right after he altered the longstanding U.S. policy on permanent West Bank land holdings in Israel's favor, angering the Arab nations and the Palestinians in the process.

Certainly not as bad as how Arafat screwed Clinton in the 2000 Camp David talks, but it would have been on the same general page, and wouldn't have given Bibi any added points with the White House should he regain the PM job in the near future.

Posted by: John at April 19, 2004 9:02 AM

Bibi knows what side his bread is buttered on.

OJ, don't you know that they control us (or should that be we control us?).

Posted by: David Cohen at April 19, 2004 1:59 PM

I know George Bush said there will be two states and Arik and Bibi said: "Done".

Posted by: oj at April 19, 2004 2:14 PM
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