Rassegna Stampa Elezioni Israeliane 2009

Monitoraggio attraverso i media internazionali delle elezioni in Israele del Febbraio 2009

Israeli settlers rally behind Likud

Posted by alicemarziali su 8 febbraio, 2009

al jazeera international

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli opposition leader, has called on his supporters in West Bank settlements to boost his party’s chances in the polls as the Israeli elections loom.

“Don’t waste your vote on smaller parties,” the Likud leader told a cheering crowd of supporters as he toured the settlement of Beit Ariyeh.

Netanyahu’s appeal to some of his core supporters – especially Israelis living in illegal West Bank settlements – has taken on a new urgency.

For months Netanyahu had looked like the likely election winner, but growing public backing for more hardline right-wing parties has eroded Likud’s support base and poll results show the contest between Likud and Kadima is now too close to call.

Favouring settlements

Likud was instrumental in setting up the Beit Ariyeh settlement and residents told Al Jazeera they estimate about 90 per cent will vote for Netanyahu.His party’s election campaign has emphasised the importance it places in the settlements and the party’s candidates have made clear that they will be making no further concessions in land to the Palestinians in future peace negotiations.

“The Kadima platform would have us vacate this place in the belief that it would purchase peace – it won’t,” Netanyahu told the crowd.

“It will simply implant a new Hamas terror base here, stacked by Iran with Iranian missiles that would fire on Tel Aviv and on Ben Gurion International airport.

“We want a policy of security. We know that we will achieve peace only if Israel is strong and only if it can defend itself … if you want to protect Israel then you have to vote Likud.”

Gaza withdrawal

Likud’s postion on the settlements has worried many who hope to reach some kind of peace deal with the Palestinians.

The settlements, in occupied territory, are illegal under international law and have been a major obstacle to peace proposals.

The Arab peace initiative, re-adopted in 2007, calls for Israel to vacate occupied land and the Annapolis peace talks, begun at the tail-end the George Bush’s US presidency, also focus on settlements as an obstacle to peace.

During Netanyahu’s first term as prime minister – he held the position in the 1990s -he agreed to hand over part of the West Bank to Palestinian control, but things have changed.

Likud has rejected the Arab Initiative and Netanyahu opposed Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, when settlers from 21 different areas in the territory and four smaller settlements in the West Bank were relocated.

‘No more concessions’

The withdrawal was proposed by Ariel Sharon, the prime minister at the time and then leader of Likud, but the plan caused huge rifts within the party and ultimately led to Sharon breaking with it and forming Kadima.Danny Danon, the chairman of the World Likud organisation and a candidate in the upcoming election, told Al Jazeera that the 2005 Gaza withdrawal proved that moving Israelis out of the settlements did little to advance the peace process.

“When we evacuated Gaza and we uprooted the Jews from their homes, it didn’t help us,” he said.

“It showed us it’s not an issue of the settlements. There is not one Jew living in Gaza today and Hamas is throwing rockets at us on a daily basis … It has been proven that it’s not going to help us by making more concessions on the land.”

If Likud wins the elections, it is likely there will be no more withdrawals, something the settlers applaud.

 

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/02/20092714249953421.html

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