The Israeli prime minister’s manoeuvrings have met with mixed reaction. They are doomed to failure, according to Likud parliamentarian Yuli Edelstein.
“I think today it looks like a big political drama. In three, four months from now, it will be less of a drama on election day,” he said.
“We will see that the vote will be much more traditional and the fate of the new party of Ariel Sharon will be as the fate of many others like Ben Gurion and Moshe Dayan that tried and didn’t succeed with their own party.”
But Labour Party member of the Knesset, Yuli Tamir, sees things differently. “I am very, very glad that we are now going to elections because this parliament cannot function anymore and now we are geared to a very interesting and a very new kind of political debate that is going to develop due to the resignation of Prime Minister Sharon from his own party,” she said. “Where does it all leave the peace process?”.
Hanan Ashrawi of the Palestinian Legislative Council analysed the situation in the short and long term.
“There will be a period probably of lack of movement on the peace process and, in preparation for elections, I think there will be heightened rhetoric in order to win votes but in the post-election era, there will probably be a re-emergence of the peace camp,” she said.