Time to get out of Gaza

It was disappointing to wake up and hear that the Israeli cabinet has delayed its vote indefinately on the Ariel Sharon plans for a complete withdrawl from Gaza. It seems that Finance Minister Bibi Netanyahu is playing politics with it by whipping up opposition to Sharon's sensible proposal, and can sniff a second turn as Prime Minister if he can generate enough opposition to the plan and challenge Sharon's supremecy. Although leftists might resist the idea, Sharon is very much the dove in this scenario. Sharon has exposed himself to being undermined in this way through his poor decision to put the issue to a vote of the Likud membership, which rejected the idea in spite of the majority of the public supporting the proposal.

Sharon and his allies in the Cabinet need to do some deft persuading so that the withdrawl plan gets the support of the Cabinet, and soon. The floating of a four-stage withdrawl is the wrong approach, and will only prolong the difficulties and bloodshed that settlers and the IDF are facing in Gaza. A one-step "clean break" is what is needed, as well as an orderly transition to PA control to prevent militants from exploiting the administrative vacuum (presumably a cleaning device used by public servents).

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