by Yehuda Poch Arutz Sheva November 21, 2005
Ariel Sharon seems to have no qualms about betraying those around him. Following the 2003 election, he betrayed his voters by adopting the policy platform they so soundly defeated in electing him. In May 2004, he betrayed Likud members by ignoring their stated will in the party referendum on the Expulsion Plan. In August 2005, he betrayed every resident of Gush Katif and the residents of four communities in northern Samaria by expelling them from their homes and communities, and destroying all they had built over the past 35 years.
He then betrayed them again when the government authority set up to handle their relocation dragged its feet in finding them places to live, in paying them the promised compensation funds, in setting up alternative employment, alternative educational facilities, and in generally allowing them to continue living. To this day, close to 40% of the expelled families do not even have a temporary home, and many more of them have yet to receive a single agura in compensation for having their lives ripped up at the roots.
Yesterday, Sharon betrayed the party he helped found, becoming the first prime minister in Israel’s history to abandon the party he leads and form a new one. The argument is being heard in many media outlets that the party betrayed him by not allowing him to continue implementing his policy, and that the “Likud rebels” are to blame. But this is whitewashing the true cause. If Sharon had stuck to the policy that got him elected – a policy that was renewed in the Likud referendum of May 2004 – the party would not have given him problems implementing anything. It was Sharon’s repeated betrayals that led to his inability to lead a government. And that is as it should be.
This government was elected to implement a policy of stricter measures against Palestinian terrorism, greater freedom and competitiveness in the economy, and a new cooperative atmosphere between religious and secular. The initial make-up of the government seemed to enable all of these possibilities. But in adopting Labor’s “Disengagement Plan” – which Sharon himself campaigned very loudly against in 2003 – Sharon destroyed all the potential of his own government, and in the process alienated himself from the party he helped found.
Today, Sharon attempts to betray the entire rest of the nation. He went to President Moshe Katzav with a request to disperse the Knesset and call for elections in early March. Elections at that date would make it nearly impossible for the new Knesset to pass the 2006 state budget before the March 31 deadline, which would mean a new round of Knesset elections in May or June â€“ a cost to the economy that is unjustified, and a national battle the voting community neither needs nor wants.
Sharon claims that the current Knesset makes it impossible for him to operate. But with Sharon now out of the Likud, those in the Likud and to its right who would have opposed the budget have no reason to do so. They have won their battle.
Katzav should reject Sharon’s request and demand that the current Knesset pass the budget before he disperses it for new elections. If Sharon is unwilling to do so, Katzav should appoint someone as a caretaker prime minister who will get it done before elections are held.
Such a response would put Sharon in his place once and for all. Instead of allowing him to continue with his complete betrayal of the people of Israel, it would force Sharon to once and for all listen to the will of the people. It would also likely destroy Sharon’s electoral chances, which would be another benefit for the people of Israel.
Copyright 2005. All rights reserved. Reproduction in electronic or print format by permission of the author only.