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The right wing copes with a publicly
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LARRY DERFNER ISRAEL CORRESPONDENT
or the three years he casti-
gated the Oslo Accords as
catastrophic for Israel, Bibi
Netanyahu was always
asked: "But what's your alterna-
tive for peace?"
So, in the campaign for prime
minister, he has put forward
what he says is an alternative:
"Peace with security." His sup-
porters have plastered it all over
the country in posters and
bumper stickers reading: "Ne-
tanyahu: Making a Secure
Peace," and "Peace Will Win
With the Likud."
"Secure Peace" is Mr. Ne-
tanyahu's and the Likud's soar-
ing, emotional campaign song.
Instead of pushing "one big Likud
against the left," as the party's
1992 campaign jingle, the cur-
rent tune promises to bring "right
and left together."
Mr. Netanyahu is going after
the decisive centrist vote — Is-
raelis dissatisfied with the peace
process because of the high in-
cidence of tenor, but who do not
want to break off relations with
the Palestinian Authority or send
Israeli soldiers back into Gaza
and the West Bank cities.
Mr. Netanyahu now empha-
sizes that while he still thinks the
Oslo Accords were a horrible mis-
take, he "accepts" them as "facts
that carmot be ignored." As prime
minister, he says he would not
attempt to reconquer PA-con-
trolled territory; these are also
"accomplished facts." And while
Mr. Netanyahu at first stated he
would not meet with Yassir
Arafat, he now says he would
consider doing so.
The message from the Ne-
tanyahu campaign is that their
man won't stop the peace process,
he'll just make it work so that it
produces "true peace" — "peace
In wooing the center, Mr. Ne-
tanyahu has caused a few flut-
ters on the ideological right.
Knesset Member Benny Begin
wrote in Ma'ariv: "Any candidate
who accepts the Oslo Accords and
agrees to negotiate with Yassir
Arafat does not deserve to be sup-
ported." In the wake of the arti-
cle, Mr. Begin reiterated his
support for Mr. Netanyahu, but
it has been far from enthusiastic.
Knesset Member Ariel Sharon
has criticized the Netanyahu-
Likud campaign for blurring its
message in its effort to capture
the center. Knesset Member Re-
havam Ze'evi, leader of the ul-
traright Moledet (Homeland)
Party, said he has been told by
Likud people that Mr. Ne-
tanyahu and his party are mod-
erating their positions for the
sake of votes, but have no inten-
tion of carrying on with the Oslo
Accords. Mr. Ze'evi said that if
Mr. Netanyahu did so, Moledet
would not be part of his govern-
But with all the grumbling in
the ranks, when push comes to
shove, the hardcore right-wing is
still solid for Mr. Netanyahu. De-
spite their unabated loathing for
Arafat, the PA and the Oslo Ac-
cords, West Bank settlers are still
the main footsoldiers in Ne-
tanyahu's campaign on the Is-
Besides the posters and
bumper stickers, the campaign
on the street can be seen mainly
at busy highway intersections
during morning and evening
rush hours. Young volunteers for
the Peres and Netanyahu cam-