Peres Ponders a Three-Way Race for Prime Minister

After the Knesset voted early Tuesday morning not to dissolve, the special Israeli election for prime minister only appeared to come down to a race between incumbent Ehud Barak and Likud chairman Ariel Sharon. But prominent dove Shimon Peres looked at his numbers in the polls and announced on Wednesday he plans to run as well, adding more pressure on Barak to seal a quick peace deal in renewed talks with the Palestinians.

Middle East Crisis Headlines - 1/21/2001

Israel and the Palestinians begin a new round of peace talks today in a last ditch effort for an agreement before elections on February 6th. The Israeli cabinet agreed to the Palestinian proposal for the talks at a special cabinet meeting last night. However, both sides are playing down expectations. "In the short time left, with the gaps that exist, the chance of bridging them is not great," Prime Minister Ehud Barak told Army Radio today.

Hot and Cold Reactions to the Sharon Victory

QUOTES FROM SHARON SUPPORTERS:

"[The Oslo Accords were] illusions that one-sided concessions to an authoritarian regime, who is ready to use terror as the leverage on us, can really bring peace. Ariel Sharon will no doubt try to build the government which will be based on the broad consensus and to negotiate, to negotiate on the basis of reciprocity." - Natan Sharansky, noted Soviet refusenik and head of the Yisrael B'Aliyah party.