Israel's Quiet Crisis

The handover of power has been smooth, but disarray in the Palestinian territories will create new problems for Ariel Sharon's successor

Nothing much happened here in Israel last week, which was something of a surprise to most Israelis, who were expecting big, dramatic, perhaps cataclysmic developments after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was incapacitated by a massive stroke. Sharon, ever stubborn, lived on, breathing a little, responding reflexively to pokes and proddings from his physicians--and so there was no state funeral, no national emotional catharsis, no clear transfer of power. But more important, there was no political confusion or panic. Leadership was quietly assumed by Sharon's deputy, Ehud Olmert. "Here we are in the midst of a revolution in Israeli politics," Avi Dichter,...

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