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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Veteran settler leader and member of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip Pinchas Wallerstein slammed Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Wednesday, claiming he sold his soul to the devil. Stressing that he would not vote for Amir Peretz, Wallerstein said however that the Labor Party leader was a more "decent and trustworthy man" than Sharon.
"Sharon is dangerous," Wallerstein, who serves as the head of the Binyamin Regional Council, told The Jerusalem Post. "This doesn't mean I support Labor. Peretz we all know supports the Geneva Initiative, but at least with him we know what we are getting. With Sharon we thought we were getting one thing and in the end we got something else."
Sharon, Wallerstein said, personally betrayed him as well as the general public by implementing the Gaza Strip disengagement plan. If the prime minister were reelected, the settler leader predicted, he would begin working immediately to split Jerusalem and to disengage from additional settlements in the West Bank. On Tuesday, Sharon's pollster Kalman Gayer was quoted as having told Newsweek that the prime minister, if reelected, would be willing to concede 90 percent of the West Bank and parts of Jerusalem for the establishment of a Palestinian state.
"Sharon plans to divide Jerusalem," Wallerstein said in reference to the article. "We know what his true intentions are. [Justice Minister] Tzipi Livni has already said that the settlement of Ariel was established in the wrong place and that the security fence has diplomatic implications, meaning that everyone on the other side will be abandoned."
To stop Sharon, Wallerstein said, the National Union and the National Religious Party needed to unite into a single political bloc, but more importantly Binyamin Netanyahu needed to be elected as chairman of the Likud Party. "Now is the time to support Netanyahu since he is the only person who can get people to leave the Left and vote for the Right," Wallerstein said, "We need to strengthen the secular Zionist branch within the Likud Party."
Wallerstein said he planned to write a letter to Likud members calling on them to vote for Netanyahu, adding that plans were under way to hold demonstrations against Sharon and go door to door across the country to convince people not to vote for Kadima.
"It is not certain that Sharon will win the elections," the settler leader said, "and you can be sure I will do everything I can to make sure he doesn't."