Monday, August 15, 2005 - A democracy killing itself :by Daniel Pipes

"The Israeli government's removal of its own citizens from Gaza ranks as one of the worst errors ever made by a democracy.
This step is the worse for being self-imposed, not the result of pressure from Washington. When the Bush administration first heard in December 2003 that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had unilaterally decided to pull all soldiers and civilians from Gaza, it responded coolly. Months of persuasion were needed to get the White House to embrace the initiative. The harm will be three-fold: within Israel, in relations with the Palestinians, and internationally.
Sharon won the prime ministry in early 2003 by electorally crushing an opponent who espoused unilateral withdrawal from Gaza. Sharon declared back then: 'A unilateral withdrawal is not a recipe for peace. It is a recipe for war.' For unknown reasons, in late 2003 he adopted his opponent's policy of leaving Gaza, thereby reneging on his promises, betraying his supporters, and inflicting lasting damage on Israeli public life.

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