Source Pravda.Ru

Arafat is getting rid of competitors

Sometimes the situations in which politicians find themselves strike with their similarities, especially if those politicians “love” each other like brothers. Here, we are talking about Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and his eternal opponent, Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister.

Sharon has been fighting with his political opponents in the government this week. We would like to reacll that the draft of the extraordinary economic program that was set forth by the government failed in the voting in the Israeli parliament. The religious parties Shas and theUnited Tora Judaism party, which are part of the ruling coalition, voted against the draft of the program together with several deputies from the Labor Party, Sharon’s basic coalition partner.

The failure of the program threatens Israel with serious economic shock: inflation, exchange reduction, the growth of unemployment and the dollar rate, ect. However, the political consequences could become even more lamentable. Ariel Sharon made a decision that was “good” for everyone: he fired all the ministers who voted against the program and won the second vote on the program, which took place on May 22.

Analysts believe that Sharon’s victory was “Pyrrhic victory” in that the political balance has been broken, and Sharon will soon have to conduct early elections, which he might lose to his opponent Benjamin Netanyahu, who is learning from Sharon’s mistakes.

The situation is difficult on the other front of the political struggle: Arafat’s past allies accuse him of treason. Arafat is not sitting on his hands, of course. The head of the Palestinian autonomy called upon Palestinians to dissociate themselves from the Hamas movement and from all those who supported violence.

It was reported on Friday that that statement was released in response to the address from the chairman of Hamas’s political bureau Khaled Meshaal, who urged Israel “to expel the Palestinian national administration from the autonomy on the West Bank and in Gaza Strip.”

Furthermore, the spiritual leader of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, expressed his opinion against the elections in Palestine under the conditions of the continued Israeli occupation. Arafat found himself in a difficult situation after he had accused Hamas and Al Aqsa Martyr's Brigade of betraying Palestine’s interests: his actions will surely be cordially perceived in the West, but he is not likely to have a lot of followers at home. Most likely, he will lose the majority of them. Palestinians’ sympathies are the following: 50% support Arafat, and the other 50% believe that the military actions against Israelis, including suicide bombings, were of a bigger effect in comparison with negotiations.

Arafat might lose his political influence in the Arab world, and he might even be deprived of the financial help if he wants to fight with Islamic radical groups.

Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov