Likud Loyalty: Landau Style - Pt. I

Uzi Landau is the head of the faction within the Likud party that opposes the Gaza-northern Samaria expulsion plan. But he has stated that he is not anti-Sharon, just anti-expulsion. What is that? I'll tell you what it is. It is a contradiction.

Aliza Karp

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Uzi Landau is the head of the faction within the Likud party that opposes the Gaza-northern Samaria expulsion plan. But he has stated that he is not anti-Sharon, just anti-expulsion. What is that? I'll tell you what it is. It is a contradiction. If you are anti-expulsion, you have to shake the ground that the pro-expulsionists are standing on, i.e., the Likud power base in the Knesset. There is no other feasible solution.

Ariel Sharon is not moved by public opinion any more than he is moved by the opinion of military experts. Even President George Bush couldn't slow him down when he asked Sharon to please not introduce this expulsion project until after the US presidential election.

Sharon is beyond rationality. If he cannot be dealt with directly, the next best thing is to take away his power. I am not talking about a civil war, just an honest act of democracy. The Likud has a powerful block of seats in the Knesset, they are the ones who can do it.

Instead of Landau accomplishing what has to be done, i.e., voting against Sharon, he makes noise, calls meetings, speaks to the press and meanwhile, he keeps Sharon in power. As long as Landau is banging the drums loud enough, no significant, effective opposition within the Likud will be heard. No one will be able to rise through the ranks and actually bring about a change.

If Landau truly intended to do all he could to protect the Jews residing in Eretz Yisroel, he would vote against Sharon. And if he did, there is a good chance that other Likud Knesset members would have the grit to follow his example. But as long as he is the official 'opposition', the Likud MKs are not exercising their power to stop the expulsion plan.

There are 39 (40 minus Sharon) Likud MKs who actually have the power to enforce the anti-expulsion referendum vote and to fulfill the wishes of the Likud Central Committee, and yet not one ? not one! ? has voted against Sharon. How is it that of 39 MKs, all supposedly representing the will of the people who voted for them, not one of them votes according to their mandate, which is so clear?

Landau is faithfully supporting Sharon, as Sharon is methodically acting against the Torah and moving towards putting Jews in Eretz Yisroel in untold danger.

Finally, on the opening day of the winter session of the Knesset, the Likud members ? who have now been labeled 'rebels' because they support the platform of their party and the public who elected them ? have actually abstained from a vote. It was not an actual, real-life parliamentary vote that would have an impact; it was a formality. The approval of the annual policy statement, which includes many general topics. But this time, one of the main features, if not the main feature, was the expulsion plan.

Logically speaking, the anti-expulsionists, the rebels, should have voted against the policy statement. But no. It was the gutsy ones who acted and all they could come up with was abstention. Where is Israeli chutzpah when you need it? Why didn't they vote against the statement of expulsion? Meanwhile, their leader, Mr. Landau, was upset: "We have to learn to pick our battles," he said, "Sharon's speech, which was relatively tame, is not a reason to risk forcing Sharon to form a national unity government."

The same old mantra. The National Religious Party (NRP) is also repeating it. Like it's the latest mitzvah to keep the Labor party out of power. Meanwhile, Labor has not accepted any of Sharon's enticements. And even if they did, how long would this relationship last? Remember, you have Tommy and the Lapidniks to deal with, as well.

And why is Landau afraid of Labor? There are enough Likud members to outnumber Labor. But Landau has to form a strong team. The party is behind him. He is the leader. Let's see him encourage votes against expulsion, rather than flinching and wincing when some Likudniks withhold their votes in abstention. If Sharon was as confident about Labor, equal to the fear of Labor that Landau and the NRP have, Sharon would not be so upset about the abstentions. But Sharon is upset and scared, because he cannot count on his friend Shimon Peres without all kinds of slimy strings attached.

Yet, the same mantra about Labor is also used as the excuse to argue against new elections. Labor was rejected in the last election. They haven't changed their direction. With 'Orange Week' and the 100 rallies and the Human Chain success, my guess is that the public has moved further from Labor, not closer. Last election, the public rejected the Labor platform of unilateral withdrawal. The public has to be smart enough to reject the Likud party in the next election, and for the same reason.

[Part 1 of 2]