Friday, June 04, 2004
So it seems that Sharon has actually accomplished some form of disengagement - he has disengaged himself from National Union cabinet members Avigdor Lieberman and Benny Elon (although Elon says he will do everything he can to avoid getting the letter of dismissal - you gotta love Israeli politics). In the meantime, there is a large rift within the Likud party, there are some rumblings from the National Religious Party about ministers resigning and possibly quitting the government, and Shas is trying to build support for a no-confidence motion. It seems that even if Sharon manages to pack the cabinet with his cronies and gets the disengagement plan "passed", it is a far cry from actually happening. Sharon's promise of no settlers in Gaza by 2005 seems about as likely as Bush's promise of a Palestinian state in 2005. In fact, one of the selling points that Netanyahu used to try to sell the NRP on the disengagement plan was that it could be halted at any time. If it's this hard to actually pass a modified disengagement plan that can be stopped at any time, imagine the difficulty of trying to get support for a military evacuation of the settlements. Pretty unlikely (Of course, Bush bought it hook, line, and sinker - I think he said that Sharon was as trustworthy as Ahmed Chalabi... or maybe he looked deep into his eyes and saw Vlad Putin's soul). Also, I'm (not entirely comfortably) finding myself liking Tommy Lapid more and more:
Shinui chairman Justice Minister Yosef Lapid said Friday that Lieberman should have been fired from the government even if there had been no vote on the disengagement plan. Lapid told Israel Radio that Lieberman's plan to deport Israeli Arabs who did not show loyalty to the state "compels his removal from the government."