It is remarkable to observe how cowardly Netanyahu is, given the great example his predecessor as Likud PM, Ariel Sharon, set. Sharon came up with his plan to disengage from Gaza in 2004. The plan was opposed by many in Likud, and Sharon agreed to put the plan to a vote by the general Likud membership. The plan was REJECTED in the poll. Sharon persisted; he devised a "new" plan, which involved evacuating the SAME areas as the original plan, but in 4 stages. This "new" plan he did not submit to a membership vote. A vote on it in the cabinet expected to yield a narrow DEFEAT to Sharon, because most Likud ministers opposed it. To get a narrow majority, Sharon in mid-2005 fired Lieberman and another settler minister (and their "national union" party). It gave Sharon a bare majority (11:10) with a minimal coalition of 61 MP's, including the religious Mafdal (6 MP's) which didn't yet quit because they didn't think Sharon was sincere about leaving Gaza, but were utterly opposed to that move. Ultimately, Sharon had a group of Likud rebels opposing him, but he brought Labor into the coalition to carry out the plan. Compare this to Netanyahu: All he needs to do is fire the Lieberman party, Replace it by Kadima, and govern with a safe majority despite some expected Likud rebels. An astonishing demonstration of political cowardice. Note: This observation is made regardless of whether one accepts Sharon's tactics or disagrees with them.
Flogged Saudi blogger Raif Badawi named International Writer of Courage, PEN Pinter Prize co-recipie
from the article: Arab League endorses Palestinian decision to halt peace talks