Brit Tzedek v'Shalom
Jewish Alliance for Justice and Peace
The 2003 Israeli election
On January 28, 2003, Ariel Sharon and the Likud won a resounding victory in the Israeli election. The articles below provide background on the election and some analysis of the results.
Israeli Election Results (January 28, 2003)
An Israeli National Elections Guide (mid-January, 2003)
- Sharon's Bittersweet Victory Sends Labor Soul Searching
By Michael Dahan, Tikkun, March/April, 2003
Dahlan summarizes the results of the election and offers hope that Sharon's short-term victory may turn out to be a Pyrrhic one.
- Israel's Dangerous Crossroads
By Hillel Schnenker, The Nation, February 3, 2003
Schnenker lays out some of the difficult issues that Israelis face in this election that must be dealt with Israel is to remain both a Jewish state and democratic one.
- The Results are In, Peace Lost
By Gadi Taub, New York Times, January 29, 2003
An Israeli professor explains briefly, but clearly, explains the deadly symbiotic Arafat-Sharon dynamic that is keep both men in power.
- Political Observations (January 21, 2003)
First Responses on a Disastrous Evening (January 29, 2003)
Brit Tzedek Advisory Council Member Gershon Baskin offers some very astute, albeit somewhat depressing, pre-election observations on the likely outcome of the election and the slim opportunities for a peaceful settlement between Israelis and Palestinians. His post-election article attempts to find reasons for hope amidst the darkness and gloom of Israeli society.
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- Likud wins almost double Labor's seats
Ha'aretz, January 28, 2003
Likud has won a huge victory in Israel's election. Ariel Sharon now faces the difficult task of forming a stable government in the light of Labor's refusal to join a unity government and Shinui's refusal to sit with Shas. This may force Sharon to form a narrow right-wing government with parties whose policies directly contradict President Bush's Roadmap to peace.
- Israel waits for Godot
By Thomas Friedman, New York Times, January 19, 2003
Friedman describes the disinterest verging on despair of Israelis in the run-up to the election. Essentially, Israelis see no candidate offering them a solution to grinding conflict. In the absence of any better solution since "the Messiah is not on the ballot," they'll vote to reelect Ariel Sharon.
- Labor: No to a Sharon Government
By Yossi Verter, Ha'aretz, January 14, 2003
Labor leader Amram Mitzna has announced he will not enter a coalition government that includes the Likud Party. If Labor follows through on this promise, this eliminates the scenario of National Unity Government in Israel's near future and asks Israelis to choose between a continuation of the hard-line Likud policy or a return to the negotiating table with Labor.
- It's Their Turn Now
By Gideon Levy, Ha'aretz, January 12, 2003
The Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that Israeli Arab MKs Azmi Bishara and Ahmed Tibi can participate in the upcoming Israeli election, rejecting an attempt to prevent them from doing so. Levy calls on Israeli Arabs to turn out in large numbers and support the efforts of the peace camp.
- In Israeli Left-Right Divide, Center May Hold the Balance of Power
By David Makovsky, January 10, 2003
Journalist David Makovsky analyses the current state of the Israeli electorate in wake of recent scandals. He argues that Tommy Lapid's anti-religious Shinui party may hold the balance of power in determining the make up of the next Israeli coalition government.
- Voters Care Only About Security Issues
By Nehemia Strasler, Ha'aretz, January 5, 2003
A journalist explains that Israeli voters are most concerned about security problems, and trust Sharon more than the Israeli left to deal with them.
- Sharon Gets His Chance to Fail
By Yossi Beilin, New York Times*, November 3, 2002
The former Israeli Justice Minister (who recently left the Labor Party and joined Meretz) cheers the collapse of Israel's National Unity Government and the decision to hold new elections. Beilin hopes that the Israeli people will recognize that the Sharon government has no plan to solve Israel's crisis and give the Israeli left a chance to advance the peace process.