Friday, January 23, 2004

Will the corruption indictment make Sharon more flexible? 

Or will it make him more intransigent? In any case, I find it hard to believe that the indictment of Ariel Sharon will not in some say alter the dynamic of Isreal's position vis a vis the Palestinians. Here are three captions from Debkafile this morning, not connected in any explicit way:

Weisglass met Rice at White House Thursday night. DEBKAfile reports: Israeli emissary delivered Sharon’s offer of substantial changes in separation fence route at points cutting through Palestinian areas, and intention of adhering as closely as possible to pre-1967 Green Line.

Route will be re-assessed in Jordan Valley and Beit Arie where barrier designed to defend Ben Gurion international airport and around Gush Etzion east of Jerusalem. They also talked about early Sharon-Bush meeting

Sharon repeats he will serve full term as prime minister “at least until 2007” despite being named in bribe charges against businessman David Appel.

Will Sharon make more concessions because he is politically weakened, or will he dig in around his Likud base? In the United States, a President in such a situation would run to his base, as Clinton had to do in the late '90s. Sharon has to operate in a parliamentary system, which might result in a different dynamic. Will he run to the center?


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