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Is Netanyahu Just Another Sharon?

By Tamar Yonah
12/14/2008, 12:00 AM

Bibi is looking an awful like Arik Sharon this last week as he steamrolled 'democracy' in favor of his own desires.  The Likud primaries held last week were supposed to be a show of democracy and respect for the voters of the Likud.  It was instead, a repeat of the Sharon fiasco that took place prior to the expulsion of almost 10,000 Israelis from their homes in Gush Katif and the northern Shomron back in 2005.

Like Sharon, Binyamin Netanyahu, in the framework of the Likud, set forth a type of 'referendum' of who would take what number on the Likud party list.  The Likud member's votes, after all the work and expenses and campaigning, were tossed to the wind.  They were not respected.

To those who remember back a few years, Ariel Sharon, was elected on the platform against unilateral withdrawal, and then turned around and embraced it wholeheartedly and implemented it.  He won the national elections in a landslide because he was AGAINST his opponent, Amram Mitznah's unlilateral withdrawal plan.  But then, after Sharon won, he took on the same platform he ran against, to the horror of those who voted for him.   After this betrayal of democracy, he then agreed to let the Likud party members decide about the fate of Gush Katif since he did a 180 degree turn on his own party's platform.  He agreed to a referendum and said he would honor what the Likud voters decided.  Well, the referendum was an overwhelming success in support for holding on to Gush Katif and northern Shomron.  However, when the results came in, and Sharon realized he lost, he decided that he would not honor the referendum that he agreed to.  He dissed the voters of his own party that he was supposed to serve. He was going to have it HIS way.  Democracy shemocracy. 
How do we know he will respect ANY democratic vote the people of Israel or his own party make?

A similar scenario took place last week, as Moshe Feiglin, a right wing Likud candidate was voted into slot number #20 on the list.  The Likud is expected to take at least 30 seats in this next election, so it looked like a sure thing that Feiglin would get in and his Likud supporters were celebrating.  Unfortunately, Netanyahu, acting similar to Sharon, flew in and nixed the votes of the party he is supposed to serve and arranged a re-shuffling of the seats, citing some lame reason as to bring up the 'district reps' on the ticket.  This invasive act plunged Feiglin all the way down, more than ten seats, to a slot somewhere in the 30's, which may be unrealistic in getting him a seat in the next Knesset.

Netanyahu disrespected the voters, AND the democratic process he seems to hold so high.  Is this democracy?  Is this Netanyahu, or Sharon?  Is this what we can expect in the next government when he gets elected and is suspected to want to cede the Golan Heights, Judea & Samaria and possibly Jerusalem? - What if Likud voters say no?

If he runs on a platform for keeping Jerusalem united, and then after being elected says that 'things have changed' and he now believes we need to cede parts of our capital to our enemy, or some other part of the Land of Israel, and then we yell 'No!", and remind him of his campaign promises and/or that of the Likud party's principles, how can we know he will respect them?  How do we know he will respect ANY democratic vote the people of Israel or his own party make?

Are we seeing another tyrant-acting and un-democratic Sharon, in Netanyahu?  "Hey, it worked for Arik, so why not me?" he might think.

Does Netanyahu strut wearing democracy on his chest, but discard it as easily as taking off one's coat. Does this steamrolling of democracy show that Bibi will be just another Arik?  I don't want to see mudslinging and dirty remarks about Bib in the talk-backs here.  I just want to bring this to your attention, so that if anyone does decide to vote for the Likud, they understand who they are getting.  ...Just another Sharon.