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May 26, 2003

So Many Documents. So Little Security

DEBKA policial analysis notes the contentiousness of the ministerial meeting to discuss The Road Map and A. Sharon
The forty-member Likud parliamentary party hurled bitter complaints against prime minister Ariel Sharon Monday, May 26, for failing to consult the party before he presented the Middle East road map to the cabinet for endorsement on Sunday, May 25. It was carried by a narrow majority of 12 to 7 ministers and four abstentions. None of the Likud ministers voted against the document. Even the nay-saying coalition hawks did not walk out of the Sharon coalition.

Former foreign minister David Levy attacked the government for accepting a Palestinian state. For a much lower price, he said, “the left” would have got us full peace. Why did the ministers who publicly decried the road map as dangerous and bad fail to vote against it? he asked. Pointing at finance minister Binyamin Netanyahu, he said: Fence-sitting is not an option when the Land of Israel is at stake. There is no longer any difference between Likud and the left-wing parties.

One MK accused the Sharon government of accepting “Oslo C” – a reference to the 1993 Oslo accords signed by a Labor government, long anathema for Likud and nationalist parties.

Sharon was unmoved by his critics. He demanded that the party line up as one man behind his policies. When a MK ventured to remark: Consult with us and we’ll support you, the prime minister retorted: You will support me whether or not I consult with you.”

The road map, Sharon emphasized, is not an accord but a framework. Nothing has been negotiated or agreed. A political accord will be brought before the Knesset. [...]

Asked what would happen if the Palestinians continued to wage a war of terror, he said thumping on the table: We will continue to fight terror day and night as we do now and the Palestinians will get nothing. Without our consent, nothing can go forward. [...]

DEBKAfile’s political analysts note that Sharon is the first Israeli prime minister to use the term “occupation” in reference to Israel’s presence on lands captured in the 1967 all-out war launched by its Arab neighbors.[more]