It's Official: Sharansky's Out

The newswires were abuzz with rumor last night that former Soviet captive and new “world authority” on democracy, Israeli Minister Natan Sharansky was planning to resign from Ariel Sharon’s government. In an official interview today with the Associated Press in Jerusalem, Natan Sharansky has announced that he shall resign from Sharon’s government as a show of protest against the Gaza withdrawl. While Sharansky referred to the Gaza disengagement as a “tragic mistake,” I say his abandonment of the government is a much worse mistake. While he claims that the Gaza pullout “exacts a high price and also encourages terror” I cannot imagine that this bold move today will not exact, if not influence or provoke, others to be definat in a climate so ripe for civil war. Mr. Sharansky has also officially lost my respect, as his actions certainly won’t help Israel any, whereas if he stayed, he could use his profound influence to help the situation. This is a prime example of what has historically and repetitiously been the greatest problem affecting a democracy like the modern Israeli government since its inceptio:. The moment someone doesn’t like something, they bail or have a new election, lather, lather some more, clog the drain, repeat…

17 thoughts on “It's Official: Sharansky's Out

  1. Props to Sharansky for standing up for what he believes. Dismemberment is stupid (I visited Gush Katif last week).
    “The moment someone doesn’t like something, let’s bail or have a new election”
    What is the alternative? Have you seen Sharon negotiate? He is constantly re-puzzling his government to fit with his agenda, while refusing consensus and elections, what alternative does Sharansky have. I hope and pray that many more follow suit.
    John Brown is ugly and his mother dresses him funny.

  2. Turning down power and influence to stand up for he believes cause Sharansky to officially lose the Town Crier’s respect. The man is one of the Jewish people’s greatest heros of the last 50 years becuase he stood up for what he believed in even while being tortured by the communists. Isn’t that why you respected dhim in the first place? Your wishy-washy-here-today- gone-tomorrow-values system is quite laughable…

  3. Town Crier,
    Neither Sharansky nor anyone needs your respect.
    Democracy…There are some people who who won’t sell themselves.

  4. Imagine if every congressman resigned everytime the house passed a bill they disagreed with in principal instead of moving on to help live within the situation and continue toward the ultimate goal of the betterment of the lives of their constituents instead of doing things that can only hurt the situtation further.
    This isn’t the former Soviet Union where standing up for what he believed in against the commnunists made Sharansky a hero. This is an Israeli cabinet minister with a repsonsiblitiy to an entire country who, citing an unforseen prophecy of future terror, added fuel to a fire that only made it worse, instead of working with what was voted for.
    A deckhand can’t jump ship just because he doesn’t like what they are cooking up in the galley when they are riding into a storm and his presence is necessary to keep the boat afloat.

  5. If the pullout was, in effect, a grant of statehood, Sharansky might have a point. But the disengagement plan is really about removing settlements. There is no need for the Palestinians to democratize for the GOI to take such action.
    When it comes time for a final settlement, one can make a credible argument that Israel should not give up control over borders, etc, unless it knows that the neighbors are going to be democratic. That’s not the issue here, and Sharansky is raising a red herring.
    Still, the man deserves respect. John Brown’s praise of Abe Greenhouse is just baffling.

  6. Laudable or not (and I do think his action is laudable…even if the issue is as red herring as you say, Joshua, why would anyone compromise any ideals to stay in a government that might be heading towards a more serious move on this issue), one does have to admire what he has to say. If anyone has read “The Case for Democracy,” you will know that his actions are directly echoing his writing. That takes guts.

  7. The Town Crier,
    Look you can’t compare the dismemberment of Israel with any bill in front of congress. This country is not suicidal enough to even come close to what israel is doing.
    When a bill is passed in congress to allow UN troops into Mexico and Texas in order to keep America from harrasing mexicans
    -or better yet to give some of America to France who once had a foothold in America (remember the French/Indian war?) and then if all of congress stays without protest … then you have a comparison.

  8. I am a strong proponent of the disengagement plan, and in fact believe it really is the only course of action that either government could have taken under the circumstances. Having said that, I do believe that this is a matter of great enough import that it could lead someone who disagrees to leave the government.
    I, for one, am more than happy that the National Religious Party and National Union are out of the government, replaced by Labor. I do wish that Shinui would have stayed in as well.
    As for Sharansky, he’s an interesting figure. His opposition to the disengagement does not strike me as that of the not one inch crowd. But again, I think he’s mixing up the removal of settlements with the ending of occupation. If this involved a final status agreement, his argument would be much stronger even if not ultimately convincing.

  9. To Town Wanker:
    I don’t think any man who spent almost ten years rotting in a Soviet Prison faced with daily beatings, rapes and starvation — all for just wanting to go to Israel — needs your respect. He put in his chops and can resign from whatever government he wants.
    Proven by your tell-tale hairy palms and blindness, the only thing you can honorably resign from is Wankerdom.
    – Anti-Mobius

  10. TC,
    Sharansky is not just a member of knesset bailing ship, until yesterday, he was a minister sitting in the cabinet deciding on retreating from parts of Israel and turning 8000+ folks into refugees.
    I say, ‘better late than never’. We already know that if more ministers had left earlier on (everything we know today was known last year, especially the Bush-settlement-bloc-my th), then the plan would not have stuck around, but some more ministers are very attached to their comfy chairs. I’m waiting for Livnat (who’s very Jabotinsky) and Shalom to bolt as well, but I assume that Sharon has some dirt on them to keep her in place. Shalom is probably scared that Peres will take his place as foreign minister and then ‘so help us G-d’.
    And FWIW, could Sharansky be one of the last ‘free thinkers’ in the government? Doesn’t that count for anything? Sharon has proved that everyone is his dog. The labour party are sacrificing themselves for this ‘holy’ retreat plan.

  11. What is this “dismemberment,” nonsense? Gaza is not a part of Israel. Aside from the east side of Jerusalem, neither has Israel ever bothered to annex the West Bank. Let Israel be Israel and let Sharansky sell books.

  12. IF THE STRATEGY IS to let the gvt fall apart (as usual) and collapse the whole thing one by one – well then i don’t wanna watch what could happen next as a result.

  13. The plot thickens….
    (Ha’aretz) – Visiting United States Senate Majority leader Bill Frist said Monday that Israel’s pullout from the Gaza Strip and part of the West Bank in the summer must allow for creation of a Palestinian state….
    Frist also spoke with Natan Sharansky, who resigned earlier in the day from the cabinet in protest over the planned pullout. Sharansky called on Frist and Congress to appropriate $150 million to the Palestinians for projects to help build up democratic institutions.

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