Destroying the Party That Elected Him

Ariel Sharon has reached the ripe old age of 76. At that old age he realistically has concluded that he does not expect to be re-elected. Accordingly, he no longer needs the Likud Party that elected him. Being a former army general, he is used to having his own way, and readily dismisses views that do not agree with him. Not only that, he portrays those who oppose his views as "rebels" and "disloy

Nadia Matar,

OpEds Nadia Matar
Nadia Matar
Arutz 7
Ariel Sharon has reached the ripe old age of 76. At that old age he realistically has concluded that he does not expect to be re-elected. Accordingly, he no longer needs the Likud Party that elected him. Being a former army general, he is used to having his own way, and readily dismisses views that do not agree with him. Not only that, he portrays those who oppose his views as "rebels" and "disloyal".

He completely ignores the fact that on two previous occasions, his Likud Party rejected his plans for ethnic cleansing of Jews from their Promised Land. Nor does the prospect of decisive division amongst the Jewish People on his Plan seem to faze him. The Arab enemy persists in seeking to destroy the Jewish People, and daily, mercilessly continues firing missiles and mortars at Jewish communities within and beyond Gaza. Nor does it disturb Sharon that Hamas says it will continue these attacks even after the Jews vacate Gaza.

Members of his own Likud Party understandably have difficulty questioning his present actions. They recognize that Sharon in the past has done a great deal for the Likud Party. For instance, in the last elections, based on his prior record, he brought Likud a resounding victory over his Labor opponents. His Likud Party garnered 40 seats in the Knesset, as opposed to his opponents, the Labor Party, who suffered a resounding defeat with only 19 representatives.

Moreover, Sharon's military record is no less than brilliant. The fact is that he contributed greatly to Israel's survival in the many Arab wars that were waged against Israel. Under such circumstances, the members of his Likud Party would be hesitant to criticize, other than verbally, Sharon's present reversal of his prior views and policies.

And then there is the very practical reason that members of the Knesset from the Likud Party have to consider the consequences of expressing opposition to Sharon's leadership. New elections would jeopardize their present seats in the Knesset, and they could not be assured of re-election.

The fact is that their party has betrayed the electorate by Sharon adopting the views of Labor's Amram Mitzna on Gaza, which the electorate had rejected by their vote in the last election. There is no question that savvy politicians would realize that the ordinary voter who previously voted for their party would not be doing so again. Even if there is a rebellion within the party, and Likud Knesset members did not support Sharon, they could not be assured that the electorate would vote Likud again.

So, while there is a good deal of verbal criticism within the Likud party, and there is no lack of "rebels" against Sharon's Disengagement Plan, there remains a considerable gap between verbal disagreement to open rebellion against Sharon's leadership. There does not seem to be anyone with vision in the Likud to take the necessary action to depose Sharon. Unfortunately, the Likud Knesset members will not vote to remove Sharon, even if the consequences are that their own party will likely be destroyed by his present actions.




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