Mitzna: Sharon Not Ready to Give Up Illusion of Greater Israel

Haaretz Service
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Haaretz Service

Labor Party Chairman Amram Mitzna said in a Newsweek interview that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon isn't ready to evacuate Israeli settlements or "to give up the illusion of a Greater Israel."

When asked about his recent declaration that the Labor Party would not join a Sharon-led unity government, Mitzna replied:

"We have to defend ourselves from Ariel Sharon's ideas. Ariel Sharon is not ready to withdraw settlements, to separate from the Palestinians or to give up the illusion of Greater Israel."

"In the last two months Sharon is being accused of being responsible for so many decisions that corrupted the politics in Israel. Therefore the Labor Party should say loud and clear: if we succeed, we will bring change. If not, we will stay in the opposition and fight."

"There is no security, and the economy is collapsing," he added.

Mitzna, however, said Sharon alone was not to blame for the current critis facing Israel.

"It's Arafat's fault. So, are we going to blame Arafat or are we going to initiate something to change it?"

The Labor chief said that while polls indicate most Israelis support his policy proposals, they also show that they will voet for Likud. "This is the $1 billion question," Mitzna said when asked why he thought this was the case.

"They agree to separation, they agree to a two-state solution, they agree to the evacuation of settlements, they agree to everything. But they don't trust that we will do it."

Mitzna also said that he thought that current investigations into corruption inside Sharon's Likud Party were "just the tip of the iceberg."

"The current issues are not gone - they are under investigation. And I'm sure there will be many more."