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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bibi turns a corner?

One of the reasons I have not been enthusiastic about Bibi Netanyahu as Prime Minister - even though he would be far better than Olmert, Barak or Livni - is a fear that Bibi would bring us a redux of 1996. When Bibi was elected in 1996, he announced that since the Rabin - Peres government had signed on Oslo, he was required to honor the agreement. And honor it he did (he just insisted that the 'Palestinians' had to honor it too which meant that he gave them far less leeway than Rabin or Peres before him or Barak after him). But now with Olmert talking about negotiating an agreement to be put on a shelf because 'it will never be implemented anyway' (yes, that's what Olmert said last week), Bibi is apparently singing a different tune.
Opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu has said if he is elected prime minister, he won't carry out any peace deal with the Palestinians reached by current Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, a newspaper reported Thursday.

Netanyahu told the Makor Rishon daily that he would regard the election as a referendum on any such accord.

If Olmert doesn't win, "then you cannot cynically and manipulatively force upon the people a move they do not want," Netanyahu said.

Polls show that if elections were held today, Netanyahu would handily beat both Olmert and the Labor Party's chairman, Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
But if Netanyahu is elected, will he really stick to that promise? I wish I could confidently answer yes to that question. I can't.


At 5:09 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5:09 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

I'd treat it with skepticism. Israeli politicians are not big on paying attention to public opinion and Israel's political system is not set up to enforce political accountability. Just the opposite.

We don't know if Bibi has turned a corner. One should judge politicians less by what they say than by what they actually do when they get into office.


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