The 2001 Israeli Elections: What Next?

Election Outcome
About Prime Minister Sharon
Sharon on the Peace Process
The Need to Build a Governing Coalition
What Next for the Labor Party?

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Sharon on the Peace Process

In the campaign, Sharon pledged to continue to negotiate with the Palestinians. He declared that "Oslo is dead" because the Palestinians have not complied with the signed agreements and he argues that a new approach to negotiations must be considered. Unlike Barak, Sharon does not consider a final status agreement with the Palestinians realistic, and says he will pursue a "multi-staged" process with agreements similar to "non-belligerency" treaties. In the campaign Sharon declared that he would not dismantle settlements. He also stated that he would not make public his "red lines" on settlements or borders, but that peace with require "painful concessions."

Sharon insists that he will never "divide" Jerusalem, and says that Jerusalem will remain a united city under Israeli sovereignty. He has declared that he will never give up Israeli sovereignty of the Temple Mount.

For some time now, Sharon has stated that he would agree to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in part of the West Bank and Gaza. Sharon points to the territory from which Israel has already withdrawn in the West Bank (42%) and Gaza Strip but questions any more withdrawals. While the areas under Palestinian control are not contiguous, Sharon envisions a system of bypass roads and tunnels that would enable Palestinians to travel between these areas without encountering Israeli checkpoints. Sharon insists that Israel continue to hold the Jordan Valley as a vital security zone.

Like Barak, Sharon is insistent that there can be no right of return for Palestinian refugees. Sharon argues that refugees should be resettled in the countries in which they currently reside, with issues of family reunification will continue to be considered on a case-by-case informal basis.

Next: The Need to Build a Governing Coalition

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2001 Anti-Defamation League