Likud votes down coalition

08.18.04

A vote by Likud to reject a coalition with Labor to push through Gaza disengagement is being presented as a major setback for Ariel Sharon:

Likud’s Central Committee, its decision-making body, voted by a 58% majority to prevent PM Ariel Sharon from negotiating with the opposition Labor party. By a narrow margin, even Sharon’s modest proposal to allow him to talk with any Zionist party was rejected. The PM vowed to pursue his course and talk with Labor anyway. Most Likud Ministers and Knesset Members supported him.

In his speech, interrupted by frequent catcalls and boos, Sharon attacked the “rebellious and irresponsible” parts of the body that opposed him. “Unfortunately, there is a group within the party that has been plotting against the government since its establishment,” he said. “This is not the behavior expected from members of the ruling party.”

That last bit sounds like Jean Chretien speaking to Paul Martin. But anyway…

This is one of the problems with fighting a war in a democracy. All the decision-making is done in public; all the dirty laundry gets to be dissected by the international press. Arafat, in contrast, can just shoot anyone who opposes him. Much less messy or controversial, I suppose.

Anyway, the opposition is busy talking about how bad this is for Sharon’s government:

A Labor Party spokesman said that the decision would inevitably lead to elections: “The Likud convention decided that it wants to see the Likud refusing peace and destroying any chance of ending violence in the region. If this position is adopted elections will be required.”

But ultimately, the disengagement plan will happen. Ariel Sharon is – politically – the cat with nine lives. Every other week, some media outlet predicts the collapse of his government and the end of his political career. They’ve always been wrong until now. We’ll probably see that repeated again here.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 just a guy 08.19.04 at 4:05 AM

Ariel Sharon is a brutal war criminal.

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2 Jonathan Edelstein 08.19.04 at 3:07 PM

Actually, Sharon’s the one who is trying to do the right thing and getting royally hamstrung by his own party. Whatever his past may be, he’s got a good idea now and I hope can carry it off. I think he’ll do so eventually, but whether he pushes it through as a Likudnik or the founder of a new center-right party is open to question.

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3 josh 08.19.04 at 5:23 PM

Let’s not mess with the facts Jonathan.
Ariel Sharon was voted into office by leading the likud on a platform that ridiculed the policies he is trying to ram through legislation. Ariel Sharon hijacked the likud and is trying to turn it into the Labour party. The Israeli public gave about 33% of the popular vote to the Likud and the mandate to win the war that was forced on us, and practically wiped out the Labour party which received only about 15% while its traditional voters left to Likud and Shinui punishing them the Labour for leading Israel into this stupid war.

I hope he does break off into a new party. One, it will show that he really means business, but also because no one will vote for him and his likud-traitors.

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4 josh 08.19.04 at 5:26 PM

…cont’d

Israel didn’t vote for Sharon, they voted for the Likud. It’s convenient to forget this when all of a sudden he tries to implement policies friendly to the left-leaning media.

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