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Israel agonises over life after stricken Sharon

what now?? was non -negotiated palistinian nation building the way forward anyway?
With or without Ariel Sharon, Israel should move on so does the new state for Palestinians. Let them live happily ever after.
Most likely the plans will continue as long as his successor and the new party Kadima are able to keep the reins in the coming election. This may not be easy given the fact that many saw Sharon -as- the party, but people who agreed with his decisions may very well end up staying with his named preference. Either Labor or Likud could still win, and either victory could lead to more conflict. Certainly Netanyaho would require that the PLO disarm militant groups before concession, which it wouldn't, followed by a retaliation by Hamas, which is gaining strengh in the polls for their coming election. A Kadima victory does ensure that the government will -try- to move in the same direction.

However, withother Sharon's overwhelming character, it may be harder to push less popular decisions through the Kanesset--think something along the lines of the Patriot Act in terms of popularity.
Not only that , Sharon gained the israelis trust over many years of doing his own thing. They essentially expected no answers from him. I think the israeli people will be more active in protesting anything that they are not certain of themselves , whoever takes over. Certainly the bloodshed of more palestinians will not meet much protest, but if the israeli state plans on conceding any more land to the palestinians it will be met with violent protests.
That's not really true. While Sharon had the suppor of a majority of the country, he had very vocal protestors from the very beginning. If you watched footage of the Gaza pullout, you would have seen plenty of resistence, plenty of protest, and plenty tears being shed.

Israel wants to exist. They have a incredibly small amount of land, and they're in the process of giving half of it away. There will be protest, but not over that. Most of distress comes from security issues and not land. Israelis are keenly aware of the vocal cries from militant groups that vow to annihilate them. They want to know that if the land is given the conflict will end.

Israelis are sick of losing their sons to the entifada. It's pretty clear they're desperate for peace. Why else would the man who championed the settling of Gaza suddenly order a full withdrawal. While the Kadima party must now solidify its purpose in Sharon's absence, its popularity has not evaporated. It still has the support of the majority of the country. Morever, Sharon may in fact be able to use his cognitive abilities, in which case his spirit can still stay in the party even if he no longer actively holds the reins.
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