Photo: Avi Cohen
Gilad Sharon
Photo: Avi Cohen

Olmert, end this farce

Outgoing prime minister’s diplomatic moves lack public support, legitimacy

Time and again we hear that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has agreed, in the framework of his talks with the Palestinians, to allow thousands of refugee descendents into Israel, to hand over Jerusalem’s Old City, to give up the Jordan Rift Valley and Dead Sea, and to hand over areas in the Negev as part of territorial tradeoffs.


The prime minister does not deny the repeated reports, which raises suspicions that they contain some truth.


There are those, including me, who do not believe the tales regarding the respect commanded by Olmert before he became PM. It would suffice to say that nobody really intended for him to make it to his highly coveted post. Yet he ended up getting there, so one could expect him to adhere to the basic principles of the person he replaced.


Olmert needed plenty of chutzpah and very little wisdom to renounce what his predecessor got from the Americans through great effort – in a letter from the president, which was endorsed by an overwhelming majority in both houses of Congress:

• No to the entry of refugees to Israel.

• No return to the 1967 borders, and no mention of territorial tradeoffs.

• No possibility of skipping stages in the Road Map: First, Palestinians must end terrorism, dismantled terror organizations, and confiscate weapons; only then, discussions on a final-status agreement would follow.


The previous government also received messages from the Syrians regarding their desire for negotiations, yet back then, as opposed to now, it understood that what really interests Assad is to end the international isolation and pressure. And that’s exactly what happened: Assad contemptuously dismissed Olmert after the latter got him out of isolation.


The prime minister’s moves do not enjoy public support or Knesset support. The levels of support and trust he enjoys are among the lowest ever. I, as a voter, feel that he is deceiving me – and many others. We did not intend for our representative to bring refugees to the country, hand over the Old City, or give up parts of the Negev. He has no mandate or moral authority for the desperate moves he is trying to lead.


Menachem Begin presented a peace treaty with Egypt, yet even though he did not mention it before the elections he enjoyed the support of a large public and Knesset majority. Similarly, the departure from Gaza in 2005 enjoyed large and consistent public and Knesset support.


Olmert, on the other hand, is being sneaky. Nobody, including his close associates, believes in his moves, which are devoid of legitimacy.


So Olmert, for your sake and for our sake, do the right thing for once and end this farce, which jeopardizes Israel and will tie the hands of the person who replaces you.


פרסום ראשון: 09.18.08, 18:51
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