Dispatches > The Buzz

Only a little confidence

ISRAEL: BARAK'S POLITICAL NEAR-MISS

Issue: "Locking up the big guns," Aug. 12, 2000

A defiant Ehud Barak vowed to press his agenda

despite threats to upend his political future. Upon his return from Camp David, the Israeli prime minister barely survived a no-confidence vote in Israel's legislature, the Knesset.

Mr. Barak's critics got the last word, however, over his conduct of negotiations with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. The Knesset approved a measure calling for early elections-probably in late October. And Mr. Barak's foreign minister, David Levy, resigned. Even though Mr. Barak came home with no peace settlement, critics inside the government and in the opposition say he was willing to give away too much at Camp David. "One cannot have a majority around a plan to divide Jerusalem," said opposition Likud leader and former prime minister Ariel Sharon.

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