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The Netanyahu-Likud Record

Reader comment on item: Explaining Israel's Strategic Mistakes

Submitted by Prof. Paul Eidelberg (Israel), Jan 28, 2009 at 09:32

I assume from his polite criticism of Benjamin Netanyahu, that Dr. Pipes would nonetheless vote for him in Israel's February 10 election because he is preferable to Netanyahu's leading opponent Tzipi Livni. However, let us consider the central issue of the election--the Palestinian state issue.

1) There is abundant evidence that Netanyahu supports a Palestinian state. Hence, a vote for the Likud is a vote for an Arab state in Israel's heartland, Judea and Samaria. The same may be said of Kadima. But since Kadima's leader Tzipi Livni is to the left of Netanyahu, nationalists will prefer a Likud-led government.

2) Nevertheless, voters should have certain facts in mind about the Netanyahu-Likud record on the territorial issue, specially the following:

a. During his tenure as Israel's prime minister, Netanyahu failed to abrogate the Oslo or Israel-PLO Agreement even though his own office issued daily reports of the PLO's brazen violations of that agreement.

b. In the Hebron Memorandum of January 30, 1997, Netanyahu surrendered 80 percent of Hebron to the Palestinian Authority (PA).

c. In the Wye River Memorandum of October 23, 1998, he agreed, for starters, to surrender approximately 30 percent of Judea and Samaria to the PA.

d. In 2002, that is, even after the Arafat Terror War broke out in September 2000, Netanyahu and his Likud colleagues (with the exception of Naomi Blumenthal) voted against MK Michael Kleiner's resolution to abrogate Oslo.

e. As a cabinet minister in the Sharon government, and despite the warnings of Israel's highest defense and intelligence officials, Netanyahu voted for unilateral disengagement from Gaza (which, by the way, doesn't prevent him from boasting now and everywhere that he anticipated the dire consequences of that retreat).

f. Of the Likud's 40 Knesset Members (two were former Israel B'Aliya MKs that joined the Likud), 23 voted for unilateral disengagement on October 26, 2005.

Finally, it should be noted that Netanyahu urges the public not to vote for small parties such as National Union. Why? Primarily because he knows that NU -- especially with a man of courage and conviction like MK Arieh Eldad -- opposes a Palestinian state.


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Daniel Pipes replies:

Actually, I consider the central issue to be Iran, not the Palestinians, and Netanyahu is stronger on that issue than Livni.

That said, I could be convinced to support the National Union.

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