by The Israeli Peace Bloc email@example.com
In this morning's calculated provocation, Israel's arch-nationalist Ariel Sharon has proven the opposite of what he set out to do. Sharon has proven to the whole world that Temple Mount/Haram A-Sharif is a territory under occupation, a place where the State of Israel can assert its authority only by the use of brute force. In the midst of the most sensitive Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Sharon had managed to demonstrate to the whole world why peace is impossible while Isreali police and security forces are free to rampage and shoot in this highly sensitive spot. A peace agreement must recognize Temple Mount/Haram A- Sharif as a Palestinian and Islamic area, and anybody visiting it must be aware of being the guest of the Palestinian and Islamic authorities - just as visitors to the nearby Western Wall do so as the guests of the Israeli and Jewish religious authorities. The Barak Government made a serious mistake in allowing Sharon's provocative visit to take place - in particular, a personal mistake on the part of Prof. Shlomo Ben-Ami, the prominent 'dove' who is simultaneously the minister in charge of the police and Israel's chief negotiator with the Palestinians. Barak and Ben Ami must rectify their mistake by declaring that Sharon and his Likud Party have proven themselves to be irresponsible provocateurs, completely unfit to share in state power. The plans which had been floated to let Likud join a 'National Unity' cabinet must be scrapped forthwith.
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