A Winning Platform

Labour intends to resign from the government soon because it wants more concessions and more withdrawal. In the next election, they will argue for more of the same and in so doing, they will suffer a further reduction in seats. I don't believe that Sharon will be able to start a new party that will defeat the Likud. Sharon has discredited himself.

Ted Belman,

Ted Belman
Ted Belman
PR
Likud won the 2003 elections and received more seats then ever before. This was due entirely to the differences in platform between Likud and Labour. Likud stood for aggressive policies to defeat terror and the rejection of Amram Mitzna's proposed evacuation of Gaza. At that time, Israelis were suffering from murderous terrorism and wanted strong action to stop it. Likud promised to deliver and Israelis embraced them at the polls.

The next election is fast approaching.

Now Israelis are suffering from the implications of the Roadmap, which promised a Palestinian state that is "viable" and "contiguous". Underlying the Roadmap is the intent to force Israel to continue making concessions it doesn't want to make. The only benefit offered to Israel was that the Palestinians commitment to eradicate terror and incitement. Two years have passed since the approval of the Roadmap and the Palestinians have done nothing to honour their commitment. No one expects this to change for the better in the future. In fact, more terror is promised and expected.

It is time for Israel to abandon the Roadmap. If the world wants a peace process, let it be the Oslo Accords. I say this because the worst of Oslo was to allow the PLO to return to the territories. This can't be reversed. Oslo, in contrast to the Roadmap, didn't promise a state, let alone a viable or contiguous one. Any commitment we got from the Palestinian Authiority in the Roadmap we already had in Oslo.

Israelis are also in a state of shock due to Ariel Sharon's Disengagement Plan and the evacuation of Gaza. As a result, they are in no mood for further withdrawals.

These are powerful issues, which promise to elect whatever party is on the right side of them. True, Likud brought calamities upon Israel, but such calamities can be blamed on Sharon, and rightfully so. Of course, Likud members of Knesset are not blameless, but that problem can be dealt with by the next leader of the Likud.

Labour intends to resign from the government soon because it wants more concessions and more withdrawal. In the next election, they will argue for more of the same and in so doing, they will suffer a further reduction in seats. I don't believe that Sharon will be able to start a new party that will defeat the Likud. Sharon has discredited himself.

The Likud should adopt the following platform:

1. Cancel the Roadmap.

2. No further withdrawals or goodwill gestures until incitement ends and terrorists are disarmed.

3. Once those two things happen, all withdrawals must be reciprocated. If Israel is to cede land, the Arabs must also cede land.

4. The residents of Kalkilya and Tulkarm must be forcibly moved to Gaza, preferably, or further east, just as Jews were forcibly moved from Gush Katif. These places should then be leveled and annexed to Israel. In exchange for the land, Israel could cede some purely Arab areas that are part of Israel.

5. Massive retaliation for terror attacks.

6. Israel should refuse to hire Palestinians without getting some concession in return. We owe them nothing.

7. Fight for Pollard's release.

8. Legitimize Rabbi Meir Kahane's policies.

9. Fully commit to a Jewish State and not to a state of all its citizens. The Palestine Mandate, which has not been abrogated, limited the Arabs to civil rights only; whereas, the Jews also had political rights. Also, the Arab-Israelis aren't trusted to serve in the IDF. Accordingly, only Jews should be citizens and therefore allowed to vote. At a minimum, Arab-Israelis should not have the right to vote on matters involving the conflict with their fellow Arabs.

10. Commit to building the approved 3,500 units in Ma'aleh Adumim.

11. Legislation should be proposed that would:

a) enlarge the definition of treason and sedition and make such crimes punishable by deportation;

b) change elections from voting for party lists to multi-district or constituency elections;

c) require a referendum for any land to be ceded and only Jewish Israelis should be able to vote on it. This restriction gets its validity from the fact that the Palestinian Mandate created a trust in favour of the Jewish people of all land included therein;

d) protect the Jewish identity of Israel, which would require super-majorities to reduce it. This identity must be strengthened by teaching more Jewish history and religion;

e) have the Knesset appoint Supreme Court judges rather then their appointment by the Court itself, and oversee the administration of justice;

f) inhibit the Supreme Court from being an "activist" court;

g) mandate intellectual diversity (different points of view) in the faculty and curriculum of Israel's universities;

h) restore the quality of education in Israel to its former glory;

i) cancel the designation of Arabic as an official language; and

j) tighten up immigration rules for non Jews.
And that's just for starters.

Such an extreme policy must be put forward responsibly in order to win a broad mandate. Polls indicate that the public still supports Sharon over any others. This is so despite the fact that he betrayed his mandate and his party, and is tainted with corruption. The public obviously approves of the strategy of separation, albeit with painful concessions. Underlying this is the public's acceptance of the two-state solution.

If the Likud was to fight the elections on a platform rejecting the two-state solution, they must, of necessity, also put forward a different solution that is realistic. Unfortunately, it doesn't have one with any chance of acceptance. Instead, the elections should be fought on how best to limit the "painful concessions".

It may, though, come down to the simple question: Who can you trust?


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