Israeli television reporting Ariel Sharon’s second stroke in a month [Onejerusalem.com]
Sharon is the history of the Israeli state. He was injured fighting for Jerusalem in 1948. He led an incursion across Sinai and into Egypt during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. As Defense Minister, he was saddled with responsibility for the massacre of Palestinian refugees at Sabra and Shatila in 1982. The White House today called him “a man of peace,” but within his own country he is known as a warrior, and one finally willing to make the kinds of concessions that only a warrior can make.
So what now? A blogger we know in Israel, Lisa Goldman of On the Face — and certainly no fan of Sharon — told us the country feels “rudderless.” Sharon forged his own unique brand of diplomacy, of aggressive, rude disengagement, claiming that he would never relinquish the temple mount, then relinquishing Gaza.
Is (was?) Sharon a mirror of Israel, a fighter who is painfully learning how to give things up? Is he, like Bob Dole or Germany’s Helmut Kohl, the last of the leaders who fought in the old wars? Who has the stature to do what needs to be done next?
Jerusalem Bureau Chief, 2000-2004, New York Times
Senior Fellow, Sanford Institute of Public Policy at Duke University
Author, The Tragedy of Zionism