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Friday, February 04, 2005

Yediot Ahronot: Yes to National Referendum

Very interesting editorial from left-leaning Yediot:

Support for a national referendum is a sharp change in the position
expressed here in the past. But things that happened in the last months require a reevaluation of prior positions.

It will force Sharon to roll up his sleeves, leave the controlled atmosphere of the Cabinet and go out to the citizens of Israel in order to address their questions, get rid of their doubts and convince them that his path is correct. Ariel Sharon will discover in his campaign that a considerable number of Likud supporters feel that he personally deceived them. They will demand an explanation for the dramatic change from his traditional positions and he will have to provide them. Sharon won't have a hard time doing it;
the new reality will speak for itself. If Sharon applies himself to the campaign he will cause 65% of the participants in a national referendum to say 'yes'.

Thus the carrying out of a national referendum should not be conditioned on the a priori commitment of the disengagement opponents to forego their protest. Protest within the bounds of the law is the very lifeblood of a liberal regime and the backbone of civil rights. The results of the national referendum must be so convincing and so overwhelming that the disengagement opponents will accept them as a clear expression of the will of the People and will themselves give up.'

Yediot Ahronot editorial written by Sever Plotzker 3 February 2005
[Translated from the original Hebrew]