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  • Israel’s Budget Passes First Test As Sharon Faces Upcoming Deadline

    It appears to be budget or bust for Ariel Sharon. The $61 billion belt-tightening package has to be ratified by month’s end, or the Israeli government falls. That’s exactly what many right-wingers opposed to the Gaza withdrawal plan, including some in the ruling Likud Party, are banking on. But the prime minister scored a coup… More ▸

  • Rallying for Disengagement, Leftists Hold Their Noses and Support Sharon

    Amnon Horev walked tall through the crowd of marchers rallying in support of Israel’s planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. His young grandsons stood on either side of him, small hands clasped in his large weathered ones. Horev, 70, a former paratrooper, fought under the command of Ariel Sharon, now Israel’s prime minister, in the… More ▸

  • Sharon Faces Budget Hurdle in Final Push Toward Withdrawal

    As plans for Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza and part of the West Bank intensify, its opponents are banking on one last throw of the parliamentary dice: Knesset rejection of the state budget for 2005. If the budget is not passed by March 31, the government will fall, there will be new elections and disengagement will… More ▸

  • Sharon Has Support from Israelis, but His Own Party Deals Him Setback

    Days before a make-or-break Israeli budget vote, Ariel Sharon got a drubbing — from his own Likud Party. The Likud Central Committee voted overwhelmingly Thursday to urge the party’s lawmakers to demand a referendum on the Gaza withdrawal plan, defying the prime minister. “The Cabinet and Parliament made decisions and these decisions will be carried… More ▸

  • In Israel, Conference of Presidents Backs Ariel Sharon’s Evacuation Plan

    Over the clatter of dishes and glasses at a lunch Sunday for Israel’s minister of defense, James Tisch, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, says he leaned over to tell his guest that the conference backs Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank. “I just… More ▸

  • Sharon, Abbas to Meet at Summit That Could Lead to Real Breakthrough

    Call it the “Return of the ‘Road Map.’ ” Almost two years after Ariel Sharon and Mahmoud Abbas stood on the shore of the Red Sea and launched the U.S.-led peace plan, the two leaders will meet again. With Yasser Arafat now dead and Abbas already making his mark as the new Palestinian Authority president,… More ▸

  • As Abbas Settles In, Sharon Presses for Immediate Action Against Terror

    Ariel Sharon took Palestinians, Israelis and the international community by surprise when he broke off ties with Mahmoud Abbas a day before the new Palestinian Authority president was sworn in — and there are contradictory interpretations as to why he did it. Aides say the Israeli prime minister was delivering a clear message — that… More ▸

  • Sharon Gets His Unity Coalition — but Some Ask How Long It Can Last

    After months of parliamentary showdowns and back-room bargaining, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has finally cobbled together the coalition government crucial for his Gaza withdrawal plan. The alliance between the ruling center-right Likud Party, center-left Labor Party and fervently Orthodox United Torah Judaism bloc was sworn in Monday, shortly after Mahmoud Abbas was elected Palestinian… More ▸

  • Boost for Ariel Sharon Seen As Religious Party Joins Coalition

    Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon took a step this week that appears to boost his plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank. Ironically, that step was taken when Sharon convinced United Torah Judaism, a religious political party that opposes his withdrawal plan, to join his national unity government. “I… More ▸

  • In Speech, Sharon Makes Pitch for Rapprochement with Palestinians

    If, indeed, it was the Jewish state’s version of the State of the Union address, then things are good and getting better. But there was more than just self-congratulation to Ariel Sharon’s closing address Thursday to the annual strategy conference known simply as the Herzliya Conference: It also was the Israeli prime minister’s chance to… More ▸