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By G. Jefferson Price III and G. Jefferson Price III,PERSPECTIVE EDITOR | May 19, 2002
A LOT OF people were appalled last week when Israel's Likud party declared there should never be a Palestinian state. Likud, which is the largest coalition of Israel's right-wing, ultranationalist factions, made this declaration following the exhortations of Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu, a former prime minister and one of the slipperiest characters ever to occupy that office. The party acted against the stated wishes of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who has said he accepts the inevitability of a Palestinian state.
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By Griff Witte and Griff Witte,The Washington Post | February 11, 2009
JERUSALEM -Israeli voters delivered a split decision in national elections yesterday, sparking competing claims by backers of opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni over who will be the next prime minister. Voters appeared to give Livni's Kadima Party, which favors negotiations with the Palestinians, a slight and unexpected edge over Netanyahu's Likud, which has been critical of peace talks, according to nearly complete returns and exit polls. But the overall shift in Israel's parliament, the Knesset, was sharply to the right.
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By Shibley Telhami | May 16, 2002
THE DECISION by the central committee of Israel's ruling Likud party to reject the creation of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River may be more consequential for diplomacy and politics than is apparent. To be sure, party positions and platforms rarely obligate governments and leaders, and this decision is probably not different from other political maneuvers. Even former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had rejected the Oslo agreements, ultimately found himself going along with them and pushing them forward through the Wye River accords that he signed.
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By JOHN MURPHY and JOHN MURPHY,SUN FOREIGN REPORTER | March 29, 2006
JERUSALEM -- Ehud Olmert's centrist Kadima party won the largest number of seats yesterday in Israel's parliamentary elections, ensuring that Olmert will become prime minister and be able to pursue his plan to give up some Jewish settlements in the West Bank and establish the country's permanent borders. Kadima's victory was muted by the party's winning fewer seats than polls had projected. But it broke the monopoly on leadership held since the country's founding by the center-left Labor Party and its predecessors, and by the right-wing Likud, the party Olmert left to join Kadima.
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By Los Angeles Times | November 17, 1992
TEL AVIV, Israel -- Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's former ambassador to the United Nations and a familiar figure on U.S. television, emerged yesterday as the front-runner to take over the leadership of the Likud bloc.Mr. Netanyahu, 43, deputy prime minister in the former government of Yitzhak Shamir, won support from 77 percent of Likud's 3,500-member central committee to have an internal party election to choose its new chairman -- and its candidate for prime minister in the next national election, by 1996.
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By New York Times News Service | March 26, 1993
JERUSALEM -- Israel's main political opposition changed generations yesterday, from the founders of the Jewish state to their heirs, when Benjamin Netanyahu resoundingly won a nationwide primary to become leader of the Likud bloc.Mr. Netanyahu, born in 1949, a year after Israel came into being, succeeds former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, 77 years old and head of the party for the last decade.As the winner yesterday, Mr. Netanyahu will automatically become the Likud candidate for prime minister in the next national election, which is not scheduled until 1996 but could come sooner should the current Labor-led government fall.
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By CHICAGO TRIBUNE | March 31, 2004
JERUSALEM - Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said yesterday that he would hold a binding referendum in his Likud Party on his plan to withdraw settlers and troops from the Gaza Strip. Sharon's announcement at a party convention was meant to deflect criticism of the plan from hard-line Likud members who demanded a party vote. Commentators said Sharon's move was based on a calculation that he would be able to muster a majority of Likud members to support the plan. Likud has traditionally opposed a withdrawal from land seized by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, but opinion polls have shown that party members are ready to support an evacuation of the isolated settlements in the Gaza Strip.
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By KEN ELLINGWOOD and KEN ELLINGWOOD,LOS ANGELES TIMES | November 21, 2005
JERUSALEM -- Beset by dissidents in his party, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has decided to abandon the conservative Likud and plans to compete in early elections as head of a new party, Israeli news media reported yesterday. Asaf Shariv, Sharon's top adviser, told the Associated Press the prime minister would make a formal announcement today and ask Israeli President Moshe Katsav to dissolve the parliament, which would trigger early elections. Majalli Whbee, a Likud lawmaker who is close to Sharon, told army radio that the prime minister called him about his decision to form a new party.
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By Doug Struck and Doug Struck,Jerusalem Bureau | March 31, 1992
JERUSALEM -- Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy, a proud and unschooled ex-construction worker, may use the prick of an ethnic slur to topple the ruling party.He was called a "monkey," and the Moroccan supporters who have championed his rags-to-respectability career were likened to "aliens" with a "smell," Mr. Levy recounted Sunday in threatening to resign.His blunt allegations of insult hold the potential of felling the Likud bloc through the same ethnic divisions that helped bring it to power in 1977.
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By JOHN MURPHY and JOHN MURPHY,SUN FOREIGN REPORTER | September 27, 2005
JERUSALEM --- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon narrowly subdued last night a revolt within his ruling Likud Party, whose hard-line members sought to repudiate his leadership because of his decision to end Israel's occupation of the Gaza Strip. In an extremely tight vote, members of the Likud Central Committee defeated a proposal by Sharon's chief rival, Benjamin Netanyahu, to hold an early party leadership primary and force early elections. Although a seemingly minor question of timing, the issue voted on by 3,000 committee members was widely viewed as a referendum on Sharon's leadership that would have a huge impact on the future of Sharon's government and on the Middle East peace process.
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By LOS ANGELES TIMES | March 28, 2006
JERUSALEM -- On the eve of Israel's parliamentary elections, the large lead held by Kadima, the centrist party founded by Ariel Sharon before he was felled by a stroke, appeared to be eroding, final public opinion surveys indicated. Kadima was still expected to win the biggest share of seats in the 120-member Knesset in today's vote, but a smaller-than-hoped-for margin of victory would complicate efforts to assemble a stable governing coalition. The vote pits Kadima, led by acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, against the left-leaning Labor Party and the conservative Likud, led respectively by Amir Peretz and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
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By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | March 8, 2006
JERUSALEM --Ehud Olmert, the acting prime minister and the leader of the new Kadima Party, has been renamed Smolmert in an effort to label him dovish and left-wing (smol is Hebrew for left). Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud, the former prime minister known as Bibi, is pictured as shifty-eyed, bloated, anxious and untrustworthy, giving himself pep talks ("I can do this; I'm the Bibi"). Amir Peretz, the Moroccan-born leader of the Labor Party, is portrayed as an inexperienced socialist simpleton, with Israel's Russian-born voters reminded of how much he looks like Stalin.
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By JOHN MURPHY and JOHN MURPHY,SUN FOREIGN REPORTER | March 5, 2006
NETANYA, Israel -- Dany Himy, owner of a produce shop in this sunny seaside city, doesn't care much anymore if there's peace with the Palestinians. He is not even sure it's possible. What he wants is separation from them, to be accomplished by completing Israel's wall and fences in the West Bank and evacuating most Jewish settlements there. "They are there," says Himy, pointing out the front of his shop toward the Palestinian villages 10 miles away in the West Bank. "We are here." In many ways, Himy's wish for a formal divorce from the Palestinians reflects the prevailing feeling in Israel in the last weeks before national elections March 28. After failing to secure a lasting peace agreement and achieve a clear military victory over Palestinian militants, Israelis seem willing to try something different - a path that may not lead to a peace but may bring some quiet.
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By KEN ELLINGWOOD and KEN ELLINGWOOD,LOS ANGELES TIMES | January 5, 2006
JERUSALEM -- Ehud Olmert, who took over as acting prime minister last night after Ariel Sharon was hospitalized, has been the Israeli leader's steadfast ally as the pair shifted over time from ideological hard-liners to advocates for withdrawing from the Gaza Strip and part of the West Bank. The 60-year-old vice prime minister, a lawyer who served as Jerusalem's mayor for a decade, was among the core of Likud Party members to accompany Sharon in November when the prime minister abandoned the conservative party to found a centrist movement called Kadima, Hebrew for "forward."
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By LOS ANGELES TIMES | December 21, 2005
JERUSALEM -- Two days after suffering a minor stroke, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was released yesterday from a Jerusalem hospital and said he was eager to get back on the job. Smiling broadly but looking somewhat drawn, Sharon told reporters as he left Hadassah University Medical Center that the stroke would not impair his performance. In brief remarks, he thanked doctors and said he was moved by concern expressed by Israelis. "Now I must hurry to get back to work and move forward," Sharon said.
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By KEN ELLINGWOOD and KEN ELLINGWOOD,LOS ANGELES TIMES | December 19, 2005
JERUSALEM -- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was hospitalized last night after suffering a minor stroke, hospital officials said, adding a fresh element of uncertainty to a tumultuous political season in Israel. Officials at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem said the 77-year-old prime minister was awake and speaking with family members and aides after undergoing tests. Officials said that, contrary to initial reports on Israeli television, he did not lose consciousness. Sharon remained in control of the government and had received a military briefing at his bedside, said his spokesman, Raanan Gissin.
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By Robert Ruby and Robert Ruby,Jerusalem Bureau | February 18, 1992
JERUSALEM -- If the past is a reliable guide, the meeting Thursday at which the Likud bloc is to choose its candidate for prime minister will not go strictly according to plan.Likud officials confidently predict that Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir will be the person chosen to lead the bloc of parties into the scheduled June national elections. But no one knows how much chaos might be created by supporters of his two challengers, Foreign Minister David Levy and Housing Minister Ariel Sharon.
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By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | January 26, 1997
JERUSALEM -- A group of Labor and Likud legislators who have been working to find common ground for future negotiations with the Palestinians have joined in proposing that the Palestinians be eventually granted a self-ruled "entity" and that no Jewish settlers be forcibly uprooted from the West Bank or Gaza Strip.While the proposals have not been officially approved by either party and are not likely to be, the plan was the first to be prepared jointly by members of the two major parties.
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By JOHN MURPHY and JOHN MURPHY,SUN FOREIGN REPORTER | December 4, 2005
SDEROT, Israel -- From the time he could first vote, Shimon Sinai has put his trust in Israel's leading right-wing party, the Likud, believing that Israel needed to be tough with the Palestinians, be strong on defense and embrace free markets. But when Israel holds parliamentary elections in March, the 42-year-old owner of a soup kitchen for the poor in this hardscrabble southern Israeli town plans to cast his vote for the newest, most talked-about political star in Israel, the Labor Party's Amir Peretz.
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By DAVID MAKOVSKY | November 23, 2005
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon dropped a political bombshell by leaving the party that he helped to form in 1973, shattering the political status quo in Israel. Mr. Sharon made the move because he wants his legacy to be that he shaped the borders of Israel in any two-state agreement with the Palestinians. He believes the Likud party apparatus - still roiling from Gaza disengagement - constrains his current policy and would restrict future policy initiatives toward the Palestinians since the Likud Central Committee, which is composed of more hawkish activists, and not Mr. Sharon would determine the next parliament list.
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