News Release

After Sharon

NASEER ARURI
Aruri is chancellor professor emeritus of political science at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and author of the book Dishonest Broker: The U.S. Role in Israel and Palestine. He said today: “Sharon tried to redefine himself into a centrist, and therefore presumably a moderate when he established his new Kadima Party. That was meant to create the impression that there is a center in Israel that is willing to come to terms with the Palestinians. This approach was based on a series of understandings Sharon had with Bush during his nine visits as prime minister. Salient among their understandings are: The settlement blocs would stay, the separation fence or apartheid wall would become the new border. With Sharon’s apparent disappearance from the political scene, Netanyahu — now representing the extreme right — will attempt to achieve power, which would likely lead to some difficulties with the U.S. government.”

PHYLLIS BENNIS
Bennis is a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies. She said today: “Sharon’s passing from the political scene will likely result in a virtually complete stall in diplomatic action in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — and certainly an end to any pressure on Israel from Washington to construct a true peace with Palestinians. Without Sharon, Palestinians will face the same deteriorating conditions they face today — expansion of settlements and the separation wall, targeted assassinations, proliferating checkpoints, demolition of homes and olive trees, escalating unemployment and poverty, all will likely continue. The loss of Sharon, whom President Bush called a ‘man of peace’ despite his role in the Sabra-Shatila massacre in Lebanon in 1982, means the Bush administration loses its closest and most reliable ally in the region, and the future of Palestine and Palestinians remains at risk.”
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FRANCIS BOYLE
Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois and author of the book Palestine, Palestinians, and International Law. He is able to address Sharon’s alleged violations of international law.
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ALI ABUNIMAH
Founder of ElectronicIntifada.net, Abunimah said today: “Sharon reflected the consensus of the Israeli establishment. Despite all of the superficial politics, there’s likely to be little change.” The web page features Sharon’s official biography from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs interspersed with annotations.
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MAZIN QUMSIYEH
Qumsiyeh is author of the book Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle. His most recent piece is “Sharon, Arafat, Abramoff, and the Media.”
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ROBERT NAIMAN
Author of many articles on economics, globalization and the Mideast, Naiman is currently a PhD candidate in economics at the University of Illinois. He said today: “As people begin to speculate about what this means to the future of Israeli politics, not enough attention is being given to [Labor Party leader] Amir Peretz’s challenging of the privatization and Washington consensus policies that have characterized recent Israeli governments, both Labor and Lukid. Peretz’s political program could possibly lead to a realignment in Israeli politics in which Labor is able to attract working-class Israelis who previously voted for Lukid. This could have a profound impact on the prospects for peace with the Palestinians.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167