Up is Down: Sharon and Likud are splitsville.
In a bold gamble, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon left his hard-line Likud party Monday to form a new centrist party, and he asked Israel's president to dissolve parliament and push for a quick March election. Sharon said life in Likud had become insufferable. He described his new party as "liberal" and said it would give Israel new hope for peace.The man who for years was the embodiment of Likud is too soft for the hardliners and has split to form a centrist party. This is not to say that such news is unexpected. Still, it's amazing how quickly Sharon has changed the political structure in the country. Quiet word on the street says he may even bring Shimon Peres with him -- a political odd couple if there ever was. Giving up the occupied territories will be like working through a snakebite: There will be convulsions. I wonder if Netanyahu can engineer a comeback for Likud. My guess is that, if Sharon can pull this off, he can govern in his own right, without a coalition.