JERUSALEM (CNS): Catholics have expressed mixed views about the next Israeli administration’s approach to relations with Palestinians, following the overwhelming victory of Israeli Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon.
Some expressed guarded optimism, while others expressed relief that Prime Minister Ehud Barak was out of office.
“Unlike Barak, who was fresh out of the military, maybe Sharon will understand the rules of the game, that it doesn’t take another war for peace,” said Fr Majdi al-Siryani, who is the legal director of the Latin-rite Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
“I am perplexed, but maybe he has more of a chance. But does he have the drive to make peace? I’m not sure.”
Fr al-Siryani said that while Mr Barak and Mr Sharon were military men, perhaps Mr Sharon’s extensive experience in the political arena would allow him to approach the peace negotiations in a more pragmatic way.
Mr Barak was accused of zigzagging his way through the negotiations without giving a clear indication of where he was headed.
Fr al-Siryani said it was “alarming” that Mr Sharon garnered 60 per cent of the vote to defeat Mr Barak on February 6.
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