Entitled ‘Life after Ariel Sharon’, the Times’ editorial on Friday predicted that the prime minister will most likely be incapacitated and will not be able to resume office, leaving the Israeli public three clear political options: “Mr. Sharon's old Likud Party, now headed by Benjamin Netanyahu, represents the same old Likud way: inflaming Palestinian tensions through war and continuing settlements on Palestinian land in the West Bank.”
The second option is the Labor party, which according to the Times is problematic because of the failure of the Oslo accords and the failure of Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas to implement law and order and prove himself as a worthy peace partner.
The third way is Sharon’s way, which is based on the building of the security fence as a first step towards a unilateral solution to the
The Washington Post’s Friday’s editorial was also dedicated to Sharon’s serious health condition. The Post argued that Sharon’s incapability to run in the general elections will stall the peace process which he had promised to push for when he abandoned Likud and formed Kadima.
“In forming a new, centrist political party for the elections in March, Mr. Sharon had declared that his aim in a third term as prime minister would be setting Israel's final borders,” read the Post’s editorial.
The Post relates Sharon’s popularity among Israelis to the simple fact that “most Israelis, like Mr. Sharon himself, came to accept in recent years that withdrawal from most of the occupied territories, with or without a peace agreement, is necessary if Israel is to remain both a democracy and a Jewish state … Yet many Israelis believed that the huge man sometimes called ‘the bulldozer’ would find a way to lead them to peace, or at least to a more secure place in the Middle East. Now once again Israel's future is up for grabs.”