Caroline Glick explains Sharon's narrow non-victory
In the post-mortem review of the causes for Sharon's close victory in the Likud Central Committee on Monday, it is clear that the primary reason he won is that his opposition refused to rally around former finance minister Binyamin Netanyahu as their leader. For the past year and a half Sharon has avoided providing a defense of his policy of surrender by casting every political and policy battle as a personal dispute. With the firm backing of the local media, Sharon has beaten all his opponents by accusing them of the crime of attempting to usurp his power. It is not that his political opponents cannot do anything against this tactic, it is just that to date they have refused to adopt the one remedy — providing an alternate, agreed-upon leader to replace him — that could force Sharon to engage in a policy debate.Just don't expect the Yesha Council, if anyone, to actually do it. Pinchas Wallerstein, failure that he is as the "chairman" of the groups that's supposed to represent the Jewish community of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, and his co-workers, have pretty much proven that they are incapable of leading a convincing campaign themselves, and Netanyahu for one would best lead his current campaign without expecting or asking of them to take part.
In light of this, there is no reason for Israelis in general or for Sharon's political opponents specifically to despair over the results of Monday's central committee vote. All that is necessary to return vibrancy to the political debate in Israel is to maintain pressure on Sharon by rallying around the one leader with the ability to actually win a national election.
I'm serious. Wallerstein's refusal to step down as head honcho for the Yesha Council pretty much shows that he's not in the job for genuine reasons. And if not, then I should hope that an alternative movement is indeed in the works to replace this wimpy would-be Council. The public, from what I can tell, is no doubt mad at them, having expected better from them, and I certainly wouldn't be surprised if indeed that turned out to be the case.