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Interference in the Israeli Elections

27 November 2002

By Yisrael Ne’eman

The Israeli press has been complaining about “Palestinian interference” in the upcoming January elections.  Palestinian leader Yasir Abed Rabo leaked his secret talks with Labor super dove Yossi Beilin concerning a peace agreement based on the Clinton Outline and the Taba talks.  Israel is to give back all of Gaza and virtually all of the West Bank (and swap land in the Negev to make up for what is not returned).  East Jerusalem will be the Palestinian capital and there will be a “limited” refugee return.  There is also much discussion about the Sari Nusseibah – Ami Ayalon Plan, similar in content. 

The leading Palestinian paper El-Quds has already run four days of ads urging Palestinian (Arab) Israelis to vote for Amram Mitzna and the Labor Party who in essence support these two proposals.  The ad campaign is said to be financed by a European country.  It is no secret the European Union supports both plans.  It is also well known that among Jews in Israel neither plan has much support.

On the other hand some Israeli Arabs are demanding a boycott of the elections, hoping for a right wing victory, suspecting this can lead to a wider confrontation.  Everyone is making an effort to force a victory by those who they believe serve their interests.

The average Jew in Israel may disagree with both these extreme dovish plans but El Quds like anyone else has the right to support whatever policy they like (provided it is not an incitement to violence) and can take funding for whatever ads are placed in their news media.  How much effect it will have on the Israeli elections, no one knows.

Among Israel’s Jews there is not only little trust of the plan, but about zero trust in Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasir Arafat and the entire PA who would have to implement the agreement.  Organized Palestinian endorsement of Mitzna certainly does not enhance his chances for success.

It may even fully destroy any chances he has for victory.