“Prime Minister Ariel Sharon published a special statement Tuesday night in which he totally dissociated himself from quotes in Newsweek attributed to his pollster, Kalman Gayer, in which Gayer claimed the prime minister was ready for territorial concessions.
“‘The remarks attributed to Kalman Gayer are in total contradiction to my positions and opinions,’ Sharon’s statement read. ‘If, indeed, these remarks were made, they were made strictly on Mr. Gayer’s initiative, and they are senseless and absurd.
“‘The entire united Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel forever. The road map is the diplomatic plan that will guide Israel in the years to come, and whosoever says anything different is doing so of his own accord and in total contradiction to my position; and that is how the remarks should be treated,’ Sharon’s statement added.
“In the remarks attributed to him by Newsweek, Gayer said, ‘Sharon would accept a Palestinian state in Gaza and 90 percent of the West Bank, and a compromise on Jerusalem, in exchange for peace.’
“In the meantime, Gayer added, Sharon wanted to ‘lay the contours of an agreement with the Palestinians,’ by creating a Palestinian state in half the West Bank and implementing confidence-building measures, Newsweek said.”
Is this Sharon’s true agenda? Unlikely. Settlements in the West Bank continue being build, as does the “security” barrier around Jerusalem. There is no evidence whatsoever that Sharon has any intention of moving towards a true two-state solution. But this is a curious development.