December 18, 2003


PM Sharon: "Outposts Will Be Dismantled, Period!" (Israel National News, Dec 18, '03)

Unauthorized outposts will be dismantled, period.” So said Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in his much anticipated address tonight (Thursday) at the Herzliya Conference.

There was great tension in the political and defense establishments in Israel and abroad as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon delivered his speech at the Herzliya Conference this evening. The speech was aired live on television across the world - even on the Arab Al-Jazeera network.

Prime Minister Sharon began by saying that Aliyah (Jewish immigration to Israel) is central to the state of Israel's existence. PM Sharon then turned his attention to the issue of unauthorized Jewish communities in Yesha (Judea, Samaria and Gaza).

“Israel will fulfill its commitments,” said Sharon. “I made a commitment to US President Bush and I will fulfill that commitment. We will try to dismantle the outposts in the least painful possible way. There will be no new settlements and no incentives or tax breaks for residents of Yesha (Judea, Samaria, and Gaza).”

The Prime Minister went on to unveil what he called his “disengagement plan,” to be implemented in the event that the PA does not fulfill its obligations under the Road Map. “We will not wait for them [the Palestinian Authority] indefinitely,” said Sharon. “The IDF will disengage from many Palestinian Authority towns. We will change the location of some settlements to reduce the amount of Jews living in the heart of Palestinian areas.”

Sharon introduced a new term to replace the term “dismantling settlements.” Instead, the Prime Minister referred to the “relocation of settlements” throughout his speech.

The Road Map can only end in one place and the Palestinians need not have any say in it--that was always its genius.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 18, 2003 3:20 PM

Kinda interesting about it being broadcast on Al-jazeera. That's in a sort of cultural way, de facto recognition of the state of Israel, if not de jure. That's a step.

Posted by: Andrew X at December 18, 2003 4:45 PM

Prepare for the next stage of the conflict to commence shortly.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at December 18, 2003 5:32 PM

Barry, I am afraid you are right. Erekat was spouting on NPR tonight and I suspect the events of the past week will only stir the pot.

Arafat must have thought about his own fate when he saw the pictures of Saddam. Although the IDF would not take him alive, to be sure.

I think we can be certain that Sharon will not allow another year of homicide bombing to occur.

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 19, 2003 12:09 AM