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BREAKING UP: Sharon, above, and Ben-Eliezer must now confront challengers within their respective parties

ISRAEL
Patching Together A New Coalition
If politics is always local, it's also almost always petty. The breakup of Israel's National Unity governing coalition was, on the face of it, a battle of principle over West Bank settlements. Labor Party leader Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said he quit because Prime Minister Ariel Sharon wouldn't reallocate $145 million in funding for West Bank settlements to poor towns inside Israel proper. But Ben-Eliezer's public pronouncements were a pretext for the Defense Minister to recast himself as a liberal in advance of a party leadership battle this month. Ben-Eliezer has often...

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