ARIEL SHARON, PEACENIK?….One of the (many) reasons I don’t blog much about the Israel-Palestine mess is that Israeli politics are so byzantine that I can’t begin to follow them. Not with the amount of time I’m willing to put into it, anyway.

Example: over at Aspasia, Judah Ariel suggests that Bush was right to support Ariel Sharon’s disengagement plan. Why? Because if Sharon loses the upcoming referendum on his plan he will be forced to resign and the Likud party will shift even further to the right:

This reality has been accepted by the Israeli left, including the Yahad (Meretz) party and Peace Now, even if it was missed by the Washington Post and New York Times. Rather than letting the perfect be the enemy of the good, I hope that President Bush takes this opportunity to make disengagement work by rehabilitating the Palestinian Authority in Gaza and making sure this is a step towards more withdrawals and future negotiations. It?s pretty clear that Israel can?t take another failure in the guise of either a Hamas-run Gaza or a settler-run Israel.

Hmmm, is this a reasonable analysis? It’s scary to think of Ariel Sharon as our bulwark against right-wing extremism in Israel, but the fact that it’s scary doesn’t mean it’s not true.

So, commenters, what do you say? Is this common knowledge among sophisticated consumers of Israeli politics? Or is Judah just doing a good job peddling an improbable scenario to a gullible Orange County goy?