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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05TELAVIV229 2005-01-12 15:04:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tel Aviv
Cable title:  

MINISTER SHARANSKY: PA ELECTIONS A GOOD START, BUT

Tags:   PGOV KPAL KWBG IS ISRAELI PALESTINIAN AFFAIRS 
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L TEL AVIV 000229 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/12/2015
TAGS: PGOV KPAL KWBG IS ISRAELI PALESTINIAN AFFAIRS
SUBJECT: MINISTER SHARANSKY: PA ELECTIONS A GOOD START, BUT
PALESTINIANS NEED INDEPENDENT MIDDLE CLASS


Classified By: Ambassador Daniel C. Kurtzer for reasons 1.4 (b,d).



1. (C) Summary: Minister Natan Sharansky told the Ambassador
January 10 that the Palestinian elections were important in
that they have led to new leadership and opportunities. He
added, however, that he could not refer to the elections as
"free or democratic" given the "fear" that exists in
Palestinian society. Sharansky referred to his November 11
meeting with President Bush, and noted that the President and
he had agreed that peace would come from promoting democracy
in the region. Sharansky opined that newly-elected PA
President Abu Mazen should be strengthened, but complained
that Abu Mazen has done little to curb incitement against
Israel. The Ambassador underscored that the PA and Israel
each have responsibilities to undertake in order to advance
the peace process. Among them, he noted, is for the PA to
strengthen the rule of law on the street and for Israel to
curb provocation and violence by extremist settlers.



2. (U) Summary cont'd: Sharansky, an opponent of
disengagement, who is not a Knesset member, noted to the
Ambassador that Likud's Central Committee agreed January 6 to
the merger of his Yisrael B'Aliya party with Likud, which
would add what Sharansky said are 128 disengagement opponents
to the Likud Central Committee. The Yisrael B'Aliya Central
Committee will vote on the merger on or about January 16.
Minister Sharansky was accompanied by his advisor, Aryeh
Green. End summary.



--------------------------


Elections Are a Start


--------------------------





3. (C) Minister-Without-Portfolio Natan Sharansky used his
new book, "The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to
Overcome Tyranny and Terror" as a backdrop to his January 10
meeting with the Ambassador, stressing the importance of
supporting democracy, including in Iraq, in order to promote
peace in the region. Sharansky referred to his November 11
meeting with President Bush, noting with pleasure that
President Bush told him that his book provides the
theoretical basis for many of the President's instincts.
Sharansky noted that while he does not believe the January 9
PA elections were "free and democratic" because of the "fear"
that exists in Palestinian society, he believes the elections
were a good start, in that they resulted in a new leadership
that can now advance democracy. The Palestinians, he
underlined, "have a very good chance of developing a
democracy since they have an educated middle class."
Sharansky stressed the importance of nurturing an independent
Palestinian middle class, and of breaking the economic
"monopoly" of three or four Palestinian families. While he
complained that newly-elected PA president Abu Mazen has not
done enough to curb Palestinian religious incitement against
Israel, Sharansky underlined that Abu Mazen should be
strengthened.



4. (C) The Ambassador noted that participants in the recent
Oslo donors meeting voiced their willingness to provide
substantial assistance to the PA with the condition that this
assistance be tied to reform. He said that Palestinians have
responsibilities to fulfill in order to move the peace
process forward, including instituting judicial reform,
installing an effective police force and removing weapons
from the street. The Ambassador said that Israel also has
responsibilities in the process, such as curbing provocations
and violence by extremist settlers. As an example, the
Ambassador noted that the GOI could prevent incidents such as
that where settlers attacked members of an NGO who were
helping Palestinian residents tend to their olive groves.
Sharansky said he was not aware of these attacks, and asked
his advisor, Aryeh Green, to provide him with more
information.



--------------------------



--------------------------


Sharansky Adds Support to Anti-Disengagement Likudniks


--------------------------



--------------------------





5. (SBU) Sharansky highlighed the January 6 Likud Central
Committee decision to approve the merger of Sharansky's
Russian immigrant-based Yisrael b'Aliya Party with Likud.
The merger, Sharansky noted, adds 128 anti-disengagement
members to Likud's Central Committee.

********************************************* ********************
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KURTZER