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January 04, 2006

Hang on Ariel Sharon, In Body Or At Least In Spirit
Posted by Suzanne Nossel

Sharon_vital Ariel Sharon is fighting for his life after suffering a massive stroke today.  Short of a miracle, it seems his prospects for taking Israel forward to a final settlement of its borders and and end to its epic battle with the Palestinians have dimmed.   

See here for a look at the potential that lay in Sharon's decision to break from Likud in late November and form a new party dedicated to achieving a final settlement.  It was the most heartening development in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and Sharon's falling could be the cruelest.   

Sharon, at 78, is a fighter bar none and should not be counted out until he takes his last breath.  If indeed he cannot recover, those who followed him into the Kadima party need to step up and show the mettle and grit that is emblematic of the Israeli character.  They cannot cede the ground to Likud and a return to the stagnant politics and grinding conflict of the past decade.   Sharon is completely unique, with shoes that are unfillable.  But his footsteps point forward and, as difficult as it will be, his colleagues and supporters need to continue to lead the way down that path.


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Sharon is completely unique, with shoes that are unfillable. But his footsteps point forward..."

This comment puts you to the right of Scowcroft on this issue:

When I first heard Sharon was getting out of Gaza I was having dinner with Condi [Rice] and she said: 'At least that's good news.' And I said: 'That's terrible news . . . Sharon will say: 'I want to get out of Gaza, finish the wall [the Israelis' security fence] and say I'm done'."

He was right. Sharon's pull-out from Gaza was a tactical maneuver so he could grab more of the West Bank.

Sharon may be irreplaceable, but his interest was never peace.

Is this Sharon ,the same Sharon who permitted the right-wing Lebanese Christian fhalangists to massacre the Palestine civilians in the Beituy camps in 1982...surely not..Bush says he's a man of peace..If I were the devil in hell I'd be guarding my ground tonight,because when Sharon gets there he will have half the place occupied before the devil knows he dead !!

Ariel Sharon will leave office a hero in Israel. He conquered Israeli politics. His decision to withdraw from Gaza was bold and transformative. But as the commenters above remind us, lets not get too teary eyed. Ariel Sharon was often quite brutal and he was hated in the Middle East and even in Israel for a long-time. And despite his "transformation," he was still a right-wing hawk representing the most militant side of Israeli politics, and he was never a peacemaker. His real accomplishment was bringing a critical mass of Israel's right wing back to reality.

May he suffer a long and agonizing death. I only hope there's some kind of retributive afterlife in which he will be made to pay for all the many crimes he committed during his miserable life.

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