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Sharon is the issue, not his party

Reader comment on item: Ariel Sharon, Escapist

Submitted by Jean Savoye (France), Nov 28, 2005 at 16:30

Overall, I disagree on several grounds.

'Escapism'. Kadima is an attempt to marginalise the Likud political machine, which Sharon feels is no longer in tune with its own electorate. Kadima is therefore not an 'escapist' party attempting to build a new electoral base with new political figures and a new and superficial centrist political approach, but a long-planned mutiny inside the likud.

Ideological focus. True, Kadima is not as focused as its two main opponents, the Labor and the Likud, but Labor and Likud may be 'overfocused'. Israeli voters have been following Sharon for four years because of his conception of Israeli security, not because of the likud platform. Likud dependend on Sharon more than the other way round.

The logical result of a long process. Labor is not recovering from Oslo and Barak's tenure. The Israeli left has lost its credibility during the 90's and Peretz's radical posture might not work much better than Mitzna's. The likud is probably ideologically more consistent, but it is still hard to make perfectly clear why Tsahal has to be in Gaza or Nablus permanently, and thousands of settlers in the vicinity when they could be in the Negev. This is simplistic, of course, and maybe the Likud is right, but that is not the point. The point is that Sharon is ideologically quite consistent (no concessions, let's just make life more simple) and that it might attract voters.

Kadima's problem will not be ideology but biology. Sharon will die more or less soon (or retire from politics) and it remains to be seen who will take his place at the head of his party, if it still exists.
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