Why the Likud Voted No to Sharon's Disengagement Plan

(Institute for Contemporary Affairs/Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Ron Dermer - The main reason that Ariel Sharon's disengagement plan was overwhelmingly defeated in the Likud is that party members were not convinced that the plan would improve Israel's security situation. In fact, the majority of voters thought the plan was a reward for terrorism. Voters did not consider the referendum a vote of confidence in Ariel Sharon. Sharon remains extremely popular within the Likud. Voters did not think they were “slapping President Bush in the face” by voting against the disengagement plan, nor did the vast majority believe that a vote against the plan would harm Israel's relations with the United States. Voters did not believe that a vote against the plan would weaken the Likud. On the contrary, it is far more likely that Likud voters feared that a vote in favor of the plan would split the party and alienate it from its base. In sharp contrast to what happened in Madrid last year, the terror attacks that occurred the day of the vote had little impact on the outcome. If anything the attacks only strengthened the resolve of those determined to vote against the plan.

2004-05-03 00:00:00

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