Thursday, March 30, 2006

Does Olmert have the authority and support for his plans?


Many have spoken about the Israeli elections as a referendum on Olmert's 'convergence plan'. After the election results have been tallied the question has not been resolved. Kadima are the largest party but having garnered less than a quarter of the votes of only 63% of Israeli citizenry it is very unclear what mandate Olmert has received.
Nadav Shragai seems to go further and claims that those against the convergence plan, led by the right-wing have actually gained the moral victory. Shragai writes in 'The right's moral majority' that those against unilateralism won the elctions.
"It is true that the right does not have a blocking majority, but it definitely has a moral, and perhaps even a practical, majority against the one-sided, unilateral element.
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The parties opposing any unilateral withdrawal straddle the right-left line, and they are as follows, with their Knesset seats: Likud 11; Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu 12; National Union-National Religious Party 9; Shas 13 - party spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef has not reversed his rejection of unilateral measures; United Torah Judaism 6. In addition, there is Labor, 20, which does support a massive withdrawal from the West Bank but only by agreement and not as a unilateral measure. All in all, 75 Knesset members. The apparent common denominator between left and right on the sole issue of unilateralism, together with the fact that the Palestinian Authority is now controlled by Hamas (and apparently there is no partner for peace talks), led as early as Tuesday night to an informal invitation to Amir Peretz."

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