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THE ISRAELI VOTE

Voices

February 07, 2001

"It is my intention, after the new government is formed, to leave parliament and my role as head of the Labor Party."

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak

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"This is a time to be patient...give the winner an opportunity to decide what kind of government will be formed...the United States stands ready to be engaged in the quest for peace. We have a role to play. ...We are not going to be standoffish."

--Secretary of State Colin L. Powell

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"The United States has worked with every leader of Israel since its creation in 1948. Our bilateral relationship is rock solid, as is the U.S. commitment to Israel's security."

--President Bush

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"In my view, [people] should vote for me because I will preserve Jerusalem, united and undivided as the capital of the Jewish people, the capital of Israel, forever."

--Ariel Sharon on the day of the election

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"We have made history this evening. For the first time, the Arab electorate is an independent part of the Israeli electorate....We are no more in the pocket of the Labor Party."

--Israeli Arab legislator Abdel Malik Dahamshe

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"The most important challenge facing the whole region is the achievement of peace....We hope the efforts will continue as peace is an essential need for all peoples of the region, including and in particular the Israelis and Palestinians. The real test will be how Mr. Sharon and his government will work toward achieving that aim."

--Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdul-Ilah Khatib

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