Decision Pitted Sharon Against Netanyahu

VATICAN CITY, MAY 14, 2002 ( Vatican Secretary for Relations with States expressed concern with the Israeli Likud Party’s decision to oppose the creation of the Palestinian State.

“The result toward which the peace process is oriented is the birth of two independent States within secure borders,” Archbishop Jean Louis Tauran explained today over Vatican Radio.

“Therefore, it seems to put an injunction on the whole peace process. There are reasons to be concerned,” the Archbishop added.

Last Sunday, the central committee of Likud, consisting of 2,600 members, voted against the opinion of Ariel Sharon by a large majority, and was in favor of a resolution upheld by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opposed to the creation of a Palestinian State.

A survey published on Tuesday by the Israeli newspaper “Yediot Aharonot” reveals that 68% of Israelis think that the vote should have been postponed exactly as Sharon suggested, while 26% are in favor of Netanyahu’s position. The rest did not express an opinion.