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Jewish World Review
Nov. 25, 2005
/ 23 Mar-Cheshvan, 5766
Sharon bulldozing his way to history
Richard Z. Chesnoff
They don't call Ariel Sharon "The Bulldozer" for nothing. In a move that may reshape the Mideast map, the Israeli
prime minister dramatically announced this week that he was plowing through Israel's convoluted coalition politics by
dumping his right-wing Likud bloc, pushing aside the leftist Labor Party and mounting a new Israeli centrist party. As
"Arik" put it to friends: "I don't have any time to waste."
He's right. At 77, Sharon is among the last of Israel's founding generation heroes. And the aging soldier/politician wants his legacies to include a decisive agreement on the Jewish state's international borders.
Sharon's first step in that direction came last August when Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip and four
small Israeli settlements in the northern West Bank. Both moves infuriated his own Likud Party. A growing band of
rebels announced plans to block any more significant territorial compromises with the Palestinians - no matter how
much that might help bring about peace. As for Sharon's opponents in the left-leaning Labor Party, they demand even
wider-ranging territorial concessions than Sharon is ready to consider.
Sharon wants something in-between: holding on to enough of the West Bank to ensure an Israel with truly secure
eastern borders, while giving up enough to satisfy the Palestinian leadership as well as the West (especially the United
Sharon, who helped shape Israel's armed forces and fathered Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza, is the
only current Israeli leader strong enough to accomplish this mission.
But it won't be easy. Sharon is smack up against a few other political tough guys. Moreover, third parties have
traditionally flopped on Election Day in Israel. Still, Sharon may change all that. Within hours of his announcement,
polls indicated that his third party would win at least a quarter of the seats in the parliamentary election scheduled for
March. He's also attracting a star-studded array of Israeli political figures from both right and left. And, according to
the polls, two-thirds of all Israelis back a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli crisis. Those are the voters
Sharon is after.
The Bulldozer usually gets what he wants. The history book is waiting.
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The Arrogance of the French
This book will open your eyes!
Why do the French hate America? Richard Chesnoff has figured it out and informs us with entertaining clarity.
France sucks, but this book doesn't.
Michael Barone, Co-author, The Almanac of American Politics
Americans-and the French-will learn a lot from this book.
Clifford D. May, President, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies
Richard Z. Chesnoff insightfully-and entertainingly-explores America's most dysfunctional relationship with America's least reliable ally.
Sales help fund JWR.
JWR contributor and veteran journalist Richard Z. Chesnoff is a contributing correspondent at US News & World Report, a columnist at the NY Daily News and a senior fellow at the Washington-based Foundation for the Defense of Demoracies. A two-time winner of the Overseas Press Club Award and a recipient of the National Press Club Award, he was formerly executive editor of Newsweek International. His latest book, is "The Arrogance of the French: Why They Can't Stand Us & Why The Feeling Is Mutual". (Click on cover above to purchase. Sales help fund JWR. )
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© 2005, Richard Z. Chesnoff