Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Sharon Leaves Likud

Ariel Sharon, the Prime Minister of Israel, has left the party he helped create. He didn't think it was possible to negotiate peace as a member of Likud. He asked Israel's President to dissolve the Knesset (Israel's Parliament) and have elections in March.

While I applaud this move, I question whether it will be possible to negotiate peace with any political party that has Ariel Sharon as its head. However, with his Gaza pull-out and clues that hint he would be willing to abandon at least some West Bank camps, perhaps he's had a change of heart?

This quote from the today's front page Boston Globe article:

Israeli analysts say Sharon is betting that a centrist consensus is building among voters who are skeptical of peace talks with Palestinians but support withdrawing from occupied territory as long as Israel sets the terms itself.

While this is far from a perfect withdrawl and there doesn't seem to be many optimists in Israel or Palestinian territory, at least it looks as though some progress can be made. There probably won't ever be a happy ending, but hopefully there will be an ending to this decades-long struggle that will allow most things to normalize. A party formed by someone who has historically been a hawk will have difficulty in creating a legitimate peace process, but it is a start in the right direction.

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