Daily Israel Report

PM Sharon Rebuffs Knesset Criticism

Explaining, "I'm not naive; this body is political," Prime Minister Sharon refrained from giving answers to questions by Knesset Members as to how his government made decisions on the disengagement.
First Publish: 5/30/2005, 5:07 PM / Last Update: 5/30/2005, 5:01 PM

Sharon appeared before the Knesset Audit Committee today, and managed to make the MKs laugh out loud several times - but did not provide substantial answers to many of the questions asked of him.

For instance, MK Tzvi Hendel asked him, "You said that the reason for the disengagement is security concerns. If so, why are homes and towns all over the Negev being reinforced and protected against rockets? Why is Ashkelon being similar protected? Is there a fear of 'peace rockets?'" Sharon did not respond.

Hendel also said, "When the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem was moved from one end of the city to another, years of preparation were invested in order to make sure that the giraffes and the lions and the deer would not suffer psychological damage... And an extra year and a half was required to move the fish cages in Eilat - so why couldn't at least the same amount of time and effort be invested for the residents of Gush Katif?"

MK Meli-Polishu Bloch of Shinui, who supports the disengagement, accused Sharon of spending all his time dealing with that issue, while ignoring other issues such as violence and the firing of teachers.

MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) asked Sharon, "How do you manage to get every single one of your ideas passed in the Cabinet?" Sharon asked him if he was planning to run for Prime Minister. He then turned serious and said, "If you have a proposal you wish to pass" - at which point he was interrupted by MK Yuri Stern (Yisrael Beiteinu), who said, "all you have to do is fire two ministers." Sharon smiled with the others and said, "That's not always possible... If I don't have a majority, I ask the Cabinet secretary not to raise the matter."

Arutz-7's Knesset correspondent Ariel Kahane summed up by saying, "There were some serious answers... but most of the answers were sarcastic, which made people laugh, but they were not serious and were even mocking and cynical vis-a-vis the criticism against him. The bottom line is that there is no bottom line; Sharon will continue in his way, and so will the criticism."