MideastWeb Middle East Web Log

log  archives  middle east  maps  history   documents   countries   books   encyclopedia   culture   dialogue   links    timeline   donations 


Is Israel's PM Ariel Sharon on the way out?


Israel's State Prosecutor, Edna Arbel, has announced she plans to seek an indictment of PM Ariel Sharon for bribery, and has submitted a draft indictment to Attorney General Mazuz. This could spell the beginning of the end for Sharon's government and policies, but that is not necessarily a Good Thing for peace. The government that eventually follows Sharon may make Palestinians understand that the situation could be worse. It is probable the upheaval will produce an even more hawkish government. Sharon's closest rival, Bibi Nethanyahu, has positioned himself well to the right of the Prime Minister and opposes any concessions or unilateral withdrawal.

Under Israeli law, Sharon doesn't have to resign if indicted, though several members of Knesset, including those of the coalition Shinui party, have demanded that he suspend himself. It will be interesting to see what the Shinui party will do if Sharon does not resign, since Shinui built a reputation as a clean government party.

Sharon is being indicted over the "Greek Island" scandal. Allegedly, Likud party consiglieri David Appel inveigled Sharon and his sons in a scheme to promote development of a Greek Island as a resort. At one point Sharon reputedly told Appel, "The island is in our hands. According to the indictment returned against Appel, Appel hired Gilad Sharon, Ariel Sharon's son, to avat a salary of tens of thousands of shekels a month plus a large bonus, though he knew that Gilad Sharon did not have the background and skills needed for the job. According to the indictment, Appel actually paid Gilad Sharon $100,000 and transfered over NIS 2.5 million (over half a million dollars) to Ariel Sharon's Shiqmim Negev ranch. The indictment also alleged bribery charges against deputy PM Ehud Ohlmert.

A second scandal has been hanging over Sharon since before the last elections, when it was disclosed that he had received a large loan to cover election expenses. Police suspect that the loan was part of a money laundering scheme. At the time, Sharon requested time from the elections commission to answer the charges, and was allowed to address the nation. Instead of sticking to the topic however, Arik made a speech that combined the salient features of "I am not a crook" and "I did not have sex with that woman" with allegations that the Labor party was trying to "usurp" the government and other election scandals. Though the speech was cut off by the elections comissioner, it managed to recoup the Likud's position in the polls. Gilad Sharon has been ordered repeatedly to hand over documents related to the case, but has managed to avoid doing so until now, through a series of appeals and postponements granted to his high-powered lawyers. The "catch" is that Gilad Sharon claims that the docoments are not in his posession, but rather in the posession of third parties, some of whom may be fictitious according to police. In yet another delaying tactic, Sharon's lawyer now says that while they will ask the third parties for those documents, the third parties are not obliged to produce them.

Sharon is due to travel to the USA April 14 to discuss the unilateral disengagement plan and other problems on the Middle East Agenda with President Bush and the US administration. Attorney General Mazuz will probably not return an indictment before then, but the situation is awkward at best.

No charges are being brought against Deputy PM Ehud Olmert, so he would be able to take over as Prime Minister. Olmert supports Sharon's unilateral disengagement plan and other policies, but Olmert probably doesn't have the political clout to get Likud party agreement over this controversial measure, so we would likely see new elections in the near future, with hawkish former Prime Minister Benjamin Nethanyahu leading the party. Those elections may result in a setback for the Likud, because Israelis are dissatisfied with the government's economic policy of "feed the rich and rob the poor." However, the divided, impoverished and discouraged parties of the Israeli left are hardly likely to garner more than a few more seats in the Knesset. The Likud would form the next government, but it would be a new and much more hawkish party than the one being led by Ariel Sharon.

Ami Isseroff

If you like this post - click to Reddit!
add to del.icio.usAdd to digg - digg it

Original text copyright by the author and MidEastWeb for Coexistence, RA. Posted at MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log at http://www.mideastweb.org/log/archives/00000238.htm where your intelligent and constructive comments are welcome. Distributed by MEW Newslist. Subscribe by e-mail to mew-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please forward by email with this notice and link to and cite this article. Other uses by permission.

by Moderator @ 07:40 AM CST [Link]


Middle East e-Zine

Midde East News

Opinion Digest

Late Updates


Middle East Glossary

Middle East Maps

Middle East Books

Middle East Documents

Israel-Palestine History

Israel-Palestine Timeline

Middle East Countries

Middle East Economy

Middle East Population

Middle East Health

Zionism History

Palestinian Parties

Palestinian Refugees

Peace Plans


Middle East


Blog Links

OneVoice - Israeli-Palestinian Peace Blog

Bravo411 -Info Freedom

Israel News


Michael Brenner

Dutchblog Israel

Dutch - IMO (Israel & Midden-Oosten) Blog (NL)



Alas, a Blog

Little Green Footballs

Blue Truth

Fresno Zionism

Reut Blog

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Blog

Simply Jews: Judaism and Israel

Jeff Weintraub - Commentaries and Controversies

Vital Perspective


Meretz USA Weblog


MIDEAST observer

On the Contrary

Blogger News Network- BNN

Google Sex Maps

Demediacratic Nation

Realistic Dove

Tulip - Israeli-Palestinian Trade Union Assoc.

On the Face

Israel Palestjnen (Dutch)

Middle East Analysis

Israel: Like This, As If

Middle East Analysis

Mid_East Journal

Z-Word Blog

Dvar Dea

SEO for Everyone

Web Sites & Pages

Israeli-Palestinian Procon

End Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: One Voice


ATFP- American Task Force on Palestine

Americans For Peace Now

Shalom Achshav

Chicago Peace Now


Peacechild Israel

Bridges of Peace


Israeli-Palestinian Conflict



Zionism and Israel

Zionism and Israel on the Web

Israel - Palestina:Midden-Oosten Conflict + Zionisme

IsraŽl in de Media

Euston Manifesto

New Year Peace


Christian Zionism

Jew Hate

Space Shuttle Blog

Israel News Magazine


My Ecosystem Details
International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Link 2 us
We link 2 U.
MidEastWeb- Middle East News & Views
MidEastWeb is not responsible for the content of linked Web sites

Please do not leave notes for MidEastWeb editors here. Hyperlinks are not displayed. We may delete or abridge comments that are longer than 250 words, or consist entirely of material copied from other sources, and we shall delete comments with obscene or racist content or commercial advertisements. Comments should adhere to Mideastweb Guidelines . IPs of offenders will be banned.

Powered By Greymatter

[Previous entry: "Arab Summit Collapse - No to democracy and reform for now?"] Main Index [Next entry: "Why America hates the Saudis"]


Thank you for visiting MidEastWeb - Middle East.
If you like what you see here, tell others about the MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log - www.mideastweb.org/log/.

Contact Us


Editors' contributions are copyright by the authors and MidEastWeb for Coexistence RA.
Please link to main article pages and tell your friends about MidEastWeb. Do not copy MidEastWeb materials to your Web Site. That is a violation of our copyright. Click for copyright policy.
MidEastWeb and the editors are not responsible for content of visitors' comments.
Please report any comments that are offensive or racist.

Editors can log in by clicking here

Technorati Profile

RSS FeedRSS feed Add to Amphetadesk Add to Amphetadesk

USA Credit Card - Donate to MidEastWeb  On-Line - Help us live and grow