Text size

After yesterday's meeting with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Labor Party Chairman Amram Mitzna stuck fast to his stand that his party will not join the coalition. "It is better for there to be two clear paths for the state, without blurring the significant differences between them," he said.

But there are those who are trying, nevertheless, and despite the election results, to blur these differences between Likud and Labor; and in the name of "the economic good," they are calling for a fake and bad unity government. One of those making this effort is Oded Tyrah, president of the Manufacturers Association, who has invited 90 "economic leaders" to a conference this afternoon in support of "a broad, emergency national government."

One could also call it a conference "for Ariel Sharon."

Tyrah knows full well that if Labor joins the government, it will be signing its own death warrant - the party will disappear before the next elections. He also knows that if Labor is in, Sharon can then quietly see through the next four years and eight months until the next ballot. Is this the purpose of the conference?

Danny Naveh has said that he was the one who approached Tyrah with the idea of the gathering, in an effort to exert pressure on Mitzna. Tyrah denies this.

It would also be interesting to know where Tyrah gets the idea that a Labor-Likud government will lead to economic growth. Has he forgotten the past two years?

Let's remind him: In the past two years, GDP has fallen 1.9 percent, and GDP per capita has plummeted 6.2 percent - a first for the state. Private consumption per capita has dropped and investment has collapsed; unemployment has soared to 10.4 percent; inflation has reached 6.5 percent; hundreds of businesses have gone belly-up; interest rates have skyrocketed; and Israel can't raise funds overseas.

So why make the same mistake twice?

Not every "business leader" thinks like Tyrah. Meir Shannie, Benny Gaon, Dov Lautman and many others think otherwise. They also believe that Tyrah, as president of the Manufacturers Association, should not act politically - the association is apolitical. And why should we care what the "economic leaders" think anyway? Why not hear advice from the "economic workers?"

Tyrah wants to see a return to growth without dealing at all with Sharon's responsibility for our dire security situation, the continuing terror attacks, the crumbling relations with Israeli Arabs. These are the main stumbling blocks of the economy.

Only yesterday, in the meeting with Mitzna, Sharon said: "Netzarim has strategic importance, and Hebron is the heart of our link to our forefathers." So why is he angry at Tzachi Hanegbi and Avigdor Lieberman? Is it because they speak the truth that he covers up?

So, it would be best for Sharon to form a right-wing government, as the electorate dictated. With the aid of such a homogenous government, he will eliminate terror, sideline Arafat, reach a deal with "the moderates" and lead Israel to four years and eight months of a blossoming economy.

Let Tyrah act on his own, so that he can lay claim to all these achievements himself.