Israeli politics

When Ariel Sharon was elected prime minister, I know a lot of left-leaning people were skeptical. I was too. In Israeli politics, I am definitely a centrist. Today, I have come to decide that Sharon may turn out to be the most important prime minister Israel has ever had. I used to think that about Rabin, and maybe he would have been, if he had not been assassinated.

Sharon’s decision to pull out of Gaza, and to leave the Likud party, were brilliant moves. He is the first prime minister in a long time who has had the courage to stand up and call a spade a spade – Israel has no partner in peace. The PLO continues to call for the destruction of Israel in its charter. Arafat never renounced the terrorism that led to his position of power. Abbas has no ability to control the terrorist groups, and Hamas has a lot more influence over the Palestinian people than Abbas or Arafat have ever had. Pragmatically speaking, Israel will have to concede some of the territory won in the 1967 and 1973 wars (even though in very few other times in history has the winner of a war that was started by the other guy had to give up what they won). But Israel shouldn’t give up too much, because they can never expect to get much (or anything) in return. Hamas has no interest in anything but Israel’s destruction, and Israel must exist. There is no room for negotiation when these are the places where people start. Pragmatically speaking, all Israel can do is protect herself, put forth expectations, and allow the international community to step in when the Palestinian leadership continues to allow terrorism and hatred to persist.

For the first time since November 4,1995 (when Rabin was assassinated), I have some hope for “peace” – even if it is imperfect and rife with tension – in the Mideast.

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~ by realsupergirl on November 22, 2005.

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