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Below is the complete text of Israeli PM Ariel Sharon's address to the Likud Central Committee Meeting as provided by the Likud spokesperson.
Sharon did not say much that was new about the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. He pledged yet again to remove illegal outposts. He reiterated his commitment to the roadmap and Palestinian independence, provided only that the Palestinian Authority could become democratic and cease terror operations, which is about like saying, "provided that they can all learn to walk on water." If for some strange reason however, the Palestinians fail to become democratic and cease terror operations while Israel is occupying them (and fail to walk on water) then he will implement his "Disengagement Plan." in which "a portion of the settlements will be relocated." Interestingly, according to Middle East Newsline, Israel has pledged to the USA help implement a "provisional" (whatever that means) Palestinian state in 2004, regardless of whether or not Palestinians comply with the roadmap. The nature of this state and who will govern it remains to be seen.
Sharon actually said less here than he had said on former occassions, when he explained that the plan would be implemented within months if there is no progress in implementing the roadmap. Nonetheless, "relocating" settlements and removing illegal outposts are not popular in the Likud pary, and Sharon's speech was met with a great many boos.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Address at the Likud Committee Meeting
January 5, 2004
Ministers of the Lukud Party,
Membbers of Knesset
Recently elected Mayors and their Deputies,
Members of the Likud Committee
I would like to dedicate tonight to the concerns of the members of the Central Committee. I meet
Because in the end, it is the Prime Minister who must make the decisions.
It is my responsibility to make all due considerations, hear all the points of view and decide. I,
The State of Israel is facing an historic decision. Either we cusseeed in ending once and for all
We aspire to implement the Roadmap, together with the 14 resrvations, in all its stages, as quickly
This is the genuine vision of peace, and our hands are extended to anyone who is ready to adopt and
We have not, nor will we ever, conduct political negotiations under fire. No prize will be awarded
However, if we achieve exeurity, we will give a great deal. If terrorist infrastructuures are
Only abandoning terror will allow the Palestinians to take a place of honor in the community of free
The United States, our friend and ally, has given its complete agreement to this. I am acting, and
Israel will fulfill all of its commitments, including putting an end to lawbreaking inJudea, Samaria
If, within a few months, it becomes clear that we have no partner, that the Palestinians insist on
We will undertake political and physical disengagements until they change their path. We will extend
An agreement would be better than a unilateral move. An agreement would be better for us, and better
Howver,if we reach the conclusion that we have no choice, I will act without hesitation. In the
That is my plan and I will pass it.
My fellow Committee members.
The security challenge is the most important challenge we face, but it is not the only one. The
Now that we have successfully passed the "braking" phase, there is more than one indication that we
Allow me to present an example.
I am especially concened with the condition of children at risk, from the disenfranchised sectors.
This is but one example of the way the entire Likud Party is leading, and will continue to lead in
We are the ruling party. We were elected in order to lead and implement. Evert one of us has a role
We have four more years ahead of us. We have the time and the strength to act.
I am convinced that with your contributions and with our help, we wll lead the state of Israel to
[Document courtesy of IMRA News Service]
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