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Comments

Rachel Ann

What can I say but I agree!

DevoraChaya

If I've understood this correctly, you are saying that Sharon will not endorse a referendum because he is afraid he will lose. I don't think so. I think Sharon refuses to back a referendum because he already knows that regardless of what Israelis vote for or don't vote for, the expulsion WILL go forward simply because the US has already so decreed.

May I remind you of US Sec of State Rice's comments of two days ago regarding the possibility of a referendum on this issue:

"... we do have a new opportunity to do something really quite dramatic, thanks to the Israeli decision to withdraw from the Gaza and from the West Bank. I just can't emphasize enough how historic a decision that is, how fundamental a decision that is -- that with all the going back and forth that we've done over the last thirty plus years, the return of territory is a major step forward. And we shouldn't lose sight of that in looking at all of the other issues, as important as they are, that we still have on the table.

As to the referendum, this is a democratic country; it will have to make its own decision about that. Our hope is that whatever happens that there will be no delay in the disengagement plan and the withdrawal from the Gaza because the United States has made very clear that we believe very strongly that this is a very positive step, and that any discussion that the United States has had, assurances that we have given and talked about are in the context of that withdrawal." (http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=24021)

Once again, regarding the result of a referendum: "Our hope is that WHATEVER HAPPENS that there will be no delay in the disengagement plan and the withdrawal from the Gaza." i.e., regardless of the outcome of any such vote by the Israeli public, the US expects the expulsion to go forward.

And why? Again: "...because the United States has made very clear that we believe very strongly that this is a very positive step, and that any discussion that the United States has had, assurances that we have given and talked about are in the context of that withdrawal."

Because the US has already gone on record as supporting it and because the US has already given "assurances" (to whom?) that it will go through.

IT IS A DONE DEAL! And the Israeli public has no say in the matter nor should they as far as the US is concerned because in their eyes Jews are on these lands illegally in the first place.

We have to understand this fundamental aspect of the problem. Should the Israeli public receive from Sharon permission to have a referendum and then vote not to abandon Gaza, the expulsion WILL GO FORWARD ANYWAY if it takes US or US-led NATO forces to enforce it.

If Sharon is afraid of anything, it is surely of the consequences of disobeying his US handlers and the public backlash when Israelis discover they no longer have sovereignty over their own land; not for fear of anything the Israeli public might do via a ballot box.

Jeff Z

Surely Arik Sharon exhibits more traits of a chicken than say a bloodhound, except for when he is on the attack against Zionist Jews. What a pathetic coward he has become. Although Israel owes much to the United States, eg. in UN votes, her soveignity can not be held against her throat, by the Americans. The last 12 years have demonstrated to us the danger of depending on Uncle Sam's protection. If we had only told Bubba Clinton to fly a kite, rather than ruining our own defences, at least fifteen hundred more Israelis would be alive as well as their offspring , & tens of thousands less maimed Israelis would have much happier lives. Now that we are, to our great disgrace, repeating the suicidal charade of Oslo, the chickens must be brought home to roost. Or, at least, banished to some Negev farm.Time to end this sad disgrace, & bring our people back to the Zionist dream.
& if the Americans threaten us financially, so be it. At least Israel does not have a trillion dollar deficit!

Jeff Z

Surely Arik Sharon exhibits more traits of a chicken than say a bloodhound, except for when he is on the attack against Zionist Jews. What a pathetic coward he has become. Although Israel owes much to the United States, eg. in UN votes, her soveignity can not be held against her throat, by the Americans. The last 12 years have demonstrated to us the danger of depending on Uncle Sam's protection. If we had only told Bubba Clinton to fly a kite, rather than ruining our own defences, at least fifteen hundred more Israelis would be alive as well as their offspring , & tens of thousands less maimed Israelis would have much happier lives. Now that we are, to our great disgrace, repeating the suicidal charade of Oslo, the chickens must be brought home to roost. Or, at least, banished to some Negev farm.Time to end this sad disgrace, & bring our people back to the Zionist dream.
& if the Americans threaten us financially, so be it. At least Israel does not have a trillion dollar deficit!

Jeff Z

Surely Arik Sharon exhibits more traits of a chicken than say a bloodhound, except for when he is on the attack against Zionist Jews. What a pathetic coward he has become. Although Israel owes much to the United States, eg. in UN votes, her soveignity can not be held against her throat, by the Americans. The last 12 years have demonstrated to us the danger of depending on Uncle Sam's protection. If we had only told Bubba Clinton to fly a kite, rather than ruining our own defences, at least fifteen hundred more Israelis would be alive as well as their offspring , & tens of thousands less maimed Israelis would have much happier lives. Now that we are, to our great disgrace, repeating the suicidal charade of Oslo, the chickens must be brought home to roost. Or, at least, banished to some Negev farm.Time to end this sad disgrace, & bring our people back to the Zionist dream.
& if the Americans threaten us financially, so be it. At least Israel does not have a trillion dollar deficit!

srk

Time for some tough love. Devora, Israel's problem isn't the US but rather Israel's own seriously defective democracy. Your system of checks and balances does not work. Your court is full of self-appointed socialist post-Zionists who have no respect for the perogatives of the legislature, and the court is accountable to nobody. It does not help that there is no written constitution. You have a party system that allows a PM to hijack the government, with no obvious recourse by the party. The typical voter cannot hold individuals accountable because the voter votes for a party list. When nuts like Sharon (or Peres, or Rabin) get in, the party associated with these nuts becomes terrified that if elections were held again, the party would lose support, which encourages the party elites to do nothing. And, outside the formal checks and balances, you have socialist post-Zionists who control almost 100% of the media, and a court that reinforces this control (e.g. by declaring Arutz-7 radio "illegal"). Do you know that I am not even aware from the MSM what Sharon's popularity is? Is Israel "on the right track" according to the average Joe? Who knows. How can politicians abandon unpopular positions (assuming there's any political reason for them to do so) if they don't even know they are unpopular?

So of course, Israel is run poorly. And, over time, the results are obvious.

The US isn't responsible for Peres being the number two instead of being in prison. Nor does the US prevent Israel from executing terrorists--Israel abandoned the death penality, and has lost deterrence thereby. The US is not responsible for the Israeli practice of releasing thousands of terrorists for a couple of corpses. The US is not responsible for Sharon defining political disagreement as "incitement." The US is not responsible for hareidi exclusion from the military, which enrages those who are not hareidi and lessens the ties among Israelis--ties that could help topple post-Zionist governments like Sharon's.

"Settlers" have shown that if they go door to door, they can have an immense impact within the Likud. This means that despite media bias, there is a latent objection to Sharon that needs only to be cultivated by bypassing the mainstream media. This is the FIRST sensible (Zionist) grassroots effort I can remember. Surely there are other ways to exploit the Israeli political system to throw out bums like Sharon, but these ways seem to be unknown to those outside the elite classes. And the elites help only themselves.

The US's ability to push Israel around is vastly overrated. We have much too much on our plate now, and neither party wants to court anti-Semitism charges, and Israel provides benefits (e.g. humint) that the US needs. Sure Rice makes things LOOK like they're inevitable; this is part of the stagecraft of diplomacy. Learn it already and fix your broken system.

Brana  Lobel

Based on Mr Sharon's unilateral actions as Prime Minister, there is a simple logic regarding possible action. If a referendum is held, and the vote is yes, a majority for disengagement, Mr Sharon will go ahead with the plan. If a vote is no, a majority for no disengagement, Mr Sharon will go ahead with the plan anyway.

On the other hand, if instead of a referendum the Knesset produces a no confidence vote, and a new election is held, then a vote for Mr Sharon will be a vote for disengagement, and there is at least a possibility that an antidisengagement candidate will emerge. This candidate should have the respect of the military and, dare I say it, should be someone with solid Jewish religious values.

If there were a referendum with a no vote, and Mr Sharon continued with his plan, the Knesset would have to pull together a no confidence vote very quickly to counter Mr Sharon's plans. In any case, an opponent candidate to Mr Sharon, one who has a different vision for Israel, must emerge.

I suggest that Mr Sharon's tenure be put to the public quickly in the form of new elections. A voting public will make a choice. Let it be an informed choice. Mr Sharon has gone way over the line in his creation of this destructive plan and his mowing down of all opposition. This tactic may work for a general but it is all wrong--legally, morally, tactically--for a prime minister.

Cosmic X

"Sharon has gone way over the line in his creation of this destructive plan and his mowing down of all opposition. This tactic may work for a general but it is all wrong--legally, morally, tactically--for a prime minister."

Well said!

John

Sharon, Peres and the rest of the Oslo gang should be caged up down on the Philadelphia Route for thirty days and see if they have a change of mind.Hmmmm.

tony

Why everyone is so concern with US? Look at your own leaders. Mr. Bush will be gone from power in 3.5 years. So will be Mrs. Rice.

Adina Kutnicki

Each passing day dumps another outrage on the Israeli political horizon. Hence another post.

Under the guise of "democracy", the Sharon gov't is threatening all vocal opponents to his expulsion plan with detention, administrative arrests and all manner of totalitarian measures. While he lets loose CAPTURED terrorists on a captive Israeli population, Sharon, the newest dictator in the region, is busy building jail cells in Megiddo for Jewish political dissenters. Communist Russia anyone?

Jacob

Regarding the U.S. forcing Israel into the expulsion of Gazan Jews - nothing could be farther from the truth. Has everybody forgotten how many trips Dov Weisglass made to Washington to convince the White House that this plan was good? It was reported then, that the U.S. thought this move was a gift to terrorism, and was therefore against it.

No it's not the U.S.'s fault. This plan is strictly a Machevelian plot by Sharon to increase his longevity in a jungle controlled by lefty media and judicial tigers.

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