Thursday, November 19, 2009

Begin As Party Leader

MK Tzachi HaNegbi recalls:

"The disengagement has leveled a harsh blow to the concept of unilateralism," said Hanegbi, who chairs the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. "The logic, if you are forced to look for one behind Sharon's decision, was that you're no longer there. You're no longer harassing [the Palestinians]. You're no longer the occupier.

"But this logic dissipated when it turned out that you need two to tango, and that the other party does not play the game according to the rules, but instead tries to take advantage of the vacuum that was formed in order to empower itself."

Hanegbi, who voted against disengagement in 2005 as a Likud MK, on Monday focused on two major political outcomes of the disengagement: the split in the "right-wing world," and the "eventual fluctuation [in support] from the center-left back to the right."

"It had always been the norm of Likud to support their leaders, and in fact most supported Menachem Begin when he wanted to make uncharacteristic concessions in the early 1980s," said Hanegbi. "But here, with Sharon and the disengagement there was a split. It was no longer a debate, it was personal accusations against Sharon, such as the one that he was trying to save himself from various financial investigations. Most people believe that this was the true motivation behind Sharon's decision."

In the first general election following the disengagement, in March 2006, the Likud went from 40 Knesset seats to 12 - the largest decline in Israeli political history.
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