Dr. Noah Nissani:

It seems that Ariel Sharon has never read Montesquieu's writings, or perhaps he believes that nothing has changed since the days of Ben-Gurion's reign. This became evident when Sharon publicly pledged that he and everyone else would honour the results of the referendum of the Likud party members, and then he felt free to discards his promise. It became even clearer when he used his authority in a controversial manner and dismissed two ministers, for the purpose of achieving with great difficulty an artificial cabinet majority for a meaningless resolution in favour of his "Disengagement" plan...

There is a grave danger to Israel's democracy in Sharon's declaration, that he is determined to continue with his policies, despite the fierce objection of most of his ministers, the majority of his party members, conference delegates and members of Knesset, while breaching his promise to respect the decision of the Likud members. He claims that his actions are motivated by his concern for the country, and that he "knows" what is good for the State of Israel.

Sharon's attitude may legitimise any action that may be taken by other individuals who care about the country as much as he does, and who claim to "know" what is good for it. These people may take actions to achieve their goals against all principles of democracy.

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One of our supreme values, on which our security is based, is our youngsters' readiness to volunteer and make sacrifices in defending our country during their military service. This spirit is only guaranteed as long as the army acts as the Israel Defence Force, whose goals unite us all. Those who take our young people's spirit for granted are seriously mistaken by thinking that it would survive if the army is used by the government to impose its policies by force. This mistake endangers our future, especially if the army is used in actions that divide the nation. It is seriously wrong of the authorities to use our youngsters' patriotism in actions that clash with some of our best soldiers' faith and conscience.

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