May 08, 2005

Sharansky & Joseph

Letter to The Jerusalem Post

Sir: Your editorial ‘Prisoner Set Free’ suggests that Natan Sharansky’s resignation from the Sharon government is more likely to bring about the very ‘national rift’ he has warned will occur over a disengagement policy that ‘commands majority support in Israel as a genuine hope for progress’ towards peace.
Having spent quality time with this remarkable man on his recent lecture tour of the UK, I can tell you that Mr Sharansky is prepared to be as generous as Mr Sharon in territorial concessions for peace. However, his concern is: concessions with whom and for what? His acclaimed book “A Case for Democracy” has analysed the failings of the Oslo accords with remarkable clarity. He concludes that détente with dictatorships worked no better with Arafat than it did with the leaders of the former Soviet Union. It merely empowered Arafat to further impoverish and terrorise the Palestinian people and perpetuate the conflict through incitement and indoctrination. Little has changed under Mahmoud Abbas who is either unwilling or unable to disarm the gunmen who stand between the Palestinian people and their freedom. As a result it is most likely that Gaza will descend into anarchy after Israel’s unilateral withdrawal. Natan Sharansky is the embodiment of a latter day Joseph. He has emerged from a Siberian dungeon and been ushered into no less lofty place than the Oval office. He has interpreted the dream of peace and determined that a genuine treaty is only possible between free people.


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