Since Sharon announced that he was in favor of a Palestinian
state, I have been working on a meeting of the Likud central committee to
discuss this matter which opposes the Likudís platform. We collected the
requisite number of signatures for a meeting of the delegates, but the party
establishment doesnít work on behalf of the party members, but on behalf of
Sharon. We received a threatening letter from the head of the organizational
branch that we can expect disciplinary steps to be taken, including possible
expulsion from the movement.
When is the central committee going to meet?
This week Iím going to present the chairman of the committee
Tzachi Hanegbi with the signatures we collected, and if they donít do what they
have to by law, we will turn to the movementís judicial body. We know that
Sharon is very fearful of a meeting at this time, since he knows that he doesnít
have the support within Likud, and he is afraid to deal with the policies he
suggested which include a Palestinian state. This is why he is doing all he can
so that the committee does not meet.
Why did you join Likud?
I think you can be more influential within the big parties
than through the little parties. If we are strong enough, we can change things
through Likud. According to all the surveys, the Likud will get over 40 mandates
in the next elections, and the big question is who will lead the party.
Who is the alternative to Sharon? Netanyahu?
Definitely not. I consider them the same, and I have no faith
in them. We all know how Netanyahu handled the role of prime minister, which is
why we founded the group for Jewish leadership which offers an alternative of a
trustworthy leader from within Likud.
What do you have to say to Benny Alon?
Iím embarrassed for him. I think heís making a serious
mistake. The fact that he continues to serve as a minister in this government,
is astonishing to me, to say the least. Benny Alon is the one who led the Ichud
HaLeumi in leaving the Coalition, and then Zeíevi himself left. But after
Zeíeviís murder, Alon entered the government and he hasnít left it.
Alon claims that he feels that the government is heading in
the right direction.
Excuse me, but I donít see any change since Zeíeviís murder,
except for the fact that now, Alon has his seat in the government. Let him give
a rational explanation for what has changed here since Zeíeviís murder, aside
from the death of dozens of Jews. I donít think people are buying Alonís
So whatís motivating Alon?
I donít discount what Benny accomplished when he assisted me
in Zu Atzeinu and in his many other activities on behalf of Eretz Yisroel. It
says, "donít judge your friend until you reach his place," but itís very painful
and itís hard to keep quiet.
You were the first to publicly call for getting rid of
Arafat. You did it through an ad in Mekor Rishon, five months ago. There was
talk of taking you to court. What happened in the end?
Four leaders of Zu Artzeinu signed on this ad. Some
individuals went to the governmentís legal advisor, Elyakim Rubinstein, to get
to him to open an investigation. The entire world was against us, including
those on the Right who didnít understand us. But as always, a few months later,
they all think we should get rid of Arafat.
Youíre not satisfied with the governmentís saying Arafat is
no longer relevant?
I think Arafat is the most relevant one in the region. The
one who isnít relevant is Sharon. Arafat knows precisely why heís here, since he
has clear goals which he is carrying out. We, on the other hand, donít know what
we want. Ask Sharon where he wants be at the end of the Intifada. We got his
answer already: He wants a Palestinian state.
But the P.A. was declared a terrorist supporting entity?
Hogwash. Itís just words. Sharon said he found the way
to combat terror, but we see what has happened since he found the way. When we
look at recent events, we can clearly see that the worst attacks began after
Sharon agreed to a Palestinian state. The reason is simple: Sharon admitted that
theyíre right, and so they say, "If weíre right, weíll intensify the battle
until we force Sharon to give us a Palestinian state." Unfortunately we see that
despite the announcements of being "no longer relevant," Arafat is more relevant
than them all.
One of the claims made by Alon and some of the Ichud HaíLeumi
is, despite Sharonís promising a Palestinian state, itís just a way of placating
the Left so that he can protect the unity government, and until it happens they
can stay in the government.
Thatís cockeyed, because even Barak didnít give back any
land, whereas Netanyahu gave Chevron plus 13% more at Wye. Whoever says these
words are meaningless, is fooling himself.
Sharon announced Israelís desire to give terrorists a state.
Peres announced it clearly at the U.N., which was unprecedented. This kind of
talk leads to action. This is why I suggest that the leaders of the Ichud Leumi
leave the government as soon as possible.