[i]This morning, I met with the president of the state and asked his authority to dissolve the parliament and to go for new elections as soon as possible.
Thereafter, I began with my friends, who showed great courage and national responsibility, to start a new national liberal movement in Israel.
… After great hesitation, I decided to leave the Likud. The Likud, in its current format, cannot lead Israel to its aims, to its national aims.
I founded the Likud in order to serve a national idea and to give hope to the people of Israel. Unfortunately, this is no longer there.
… The new party we have created will serve the people of Israel for many years to come. It will be a new home for all Israelis that want to act with responsibility.
I call to all of you who believe in this to join us and go forward with us. We are moving forward. Our way will give Israel a new hope, a true hope for stable democracy.
…We will work to set the permanent border of the nation while insisting on the dismantling of terrorist groups.
Our approach will give Israel a real national responsibility, permanent, stable governance, economic prosperity, peace and tranquillity. This is what the Israeli people need today.
We have two tasks facing us. One is to lay the foundations for a peace settlement… I’m talking about the roadmap.
Disengagement provided us with a historic opportunity and I do not intend to allow anyone to miss this opportunity. [/i]
I am watching the Israeli elections with great interest. Abroad, Sharon is considered a hardline ideologue of Greater Israel. However, the reality is quite different. Although Sharon is the architect of settlements and of the Likud party, Sharon’s roots lie with the hawkish but pragmatic tradition of Israel’s Labor movement. He is a “Rabinist” at heart.
His commitment to settlements, as well as to Likud, was always about security: a means to achieve a thriving Israel, safe in a hostile Middle East for generations to come.
I hope he destroys the left and the far right in Israel in the coming election and serves another term. He is a statesman that will go down as one of Israels finest PMs :bravo: