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by
Rick Moran

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January 11, 2014 - 7:23 am
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Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, a brilliant general and controversial Israeli politician, died on Saturday from complications due to a debilitating stroke he suffered in 2006.

Beloved by many, reviled by some, Sharon marched to his own drummer during his military career and as prime minister from 2001-2006. He surprised the world when he unilaterally withdrew from Gaza in 2005, a move that some believed could have led to a settlement with the Palestinians if he had remained in good health. But his pragmatism about Israeli security was always tempered with the realization that only military strength guaranteed Israeli’s existence:

As one who fought in all of Israel’s wars, and learned from personal experience that without proper force, we do not have a chance of surviving in this region. … I have also learned from experience that the sword alone cannot decide this bitter dispute in this land.

Reuters:

As prime minister, Sharon presided over some of the most turbulent times in Israeli-Palestinian history, a Palestinian uprising that erupted in 2000 and an Israeli military crackdown after peace talks collapsed. As Israel’s leader, he besieged his arch-nemesis Yasser Arafat with tanks after suicide bombers flooded Israel from the occupied West Bank.

Long a champion of Jewish settlement on land Israel seized in the 1967 Middle East war, Sharon, serving in 1998 as foreign minister, urged settlers in the West Bank to “run and grab as many hilltops as they can to enlarge settlements, because everything we take now will stay ours”.

He said the contested decision to quit the Gaza Strip, which pulled apart his Likud party and persuaded him to form a new political force, would enable Israel to strengthen its hold over “territory which is essential to our existence”.

It was a reference to the West Bank, where his government began the construction of a massive barrier during the Palestinian uprising. Israel called it a security measure – Palestinians condemned the project as a land grab.

His career as a soldier spanned the War for Independence and the 1967 and 1973 conflicts. He had quit the military in 1973 but rushed back to service when Egypt invaded the Sinai. Calmly, he led the IDF in a successful counterattack that destroyed the Egyptian army.

His career as a politician was more controversial:

He helped form the Likud party, which courted Israel’s underclass of Jews of Middle Eastern descent and rose to power in the 1977 election, ending the dominance of the “European” Labour Party.

Appointed agriculture minister, Sharon used that post and his chairmanship of a ministerial settlements committee to break ground on new settlements – helping to earn him the nickname “Bulldozer”.

As defence minister under Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Sharon masterminded the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, one of Israel’s most divisive campaigns.

What started as a stab against Palestinian guerrillas on the border evolved into a murky and costly bid to install a government more friendly to Israel in Beirut.

Arab hatred of Sharon crested with the massacre of hundreds of Palestinian civilians in the Lebanese refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila by Israeli-allied Christian militiamen.

He denied wrongdoing but was eventually forced to resign as defence chief in 1983 after an Israeli probe said he bore “personal responsibility” for not preventing the bloodshed.

Sharon’s supporters believed he was unfairly blamed for the refugee camp massacre. And to this day, the IDF’s role in assisting the Lebanese Phalangist militia in carrying out the slaughter is debated. But it seems fairly clear that even if Sharon had no direct knowledge of the attack, he should have realized what would happen when he invited the Phalangists into the area to seek out the murderers of Lebanese Prime Minister Gemayal.

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Top Rated Comments   
This is what I recall. Please correct me if I am wrong. (Wikipedia is not a source.)
Time magazine accused Sharon of War Crimes. Sharon sued for libel.

The jury found that Time had lied.
The jury found that Time knew they were lying.
The jury found for time because they could not prove malice (!).

Time treated this as an exoneration!
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
1956. 1967. 1973. And in Lebanon, Reagan stopped Israel, and replaced them with American troops, who were then murdered by the Arabs.

Both Reagan and Eisenhower (who made Israel give back the Sinai in 1956) later said that these were among the biggest mistakes of their administrations.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
There's no security for Israel with peaceful,co-existence because it is impossible for them to peacefully co-exist with Palestinian Muslims. The Palestinians do not want to exist peacefully alongside Israel. They want to see Israel destroyed.
The Palestinians are nothing but squatters on Israeli land.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (17)
All Comments   (17)
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Alexa. although Florence`s stori is really cool... yesterday I bought a top of the range Fiat Panda since I been making $4660 this last five weeks and a little over 10 grand last-month. this is definitely the easiest-job Ive ever done. I started this 9-months ago and right away started bringing in at least $75 per hour. read this post here star56.com
35 weeks ago
35 weeks ago Link To Comment

my mother got an awesome red Lexus NX 300h SUV by work parttime using a laptop... check this link right here now star56.com
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
A little note. The Palestinians are not our (Israel's) "Blood Enemy". They consider us to be theirs.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
It is unfortunate that after Sharon saved Israel several times, a large part of his legacy will be his ethnic cleansing of Jews from Gaza.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Please note that later the Christians, who had done the killing, found it convenient to blame the Jews!

Also note that almost everyone killed was a man. The number of women and children was similar to normal collateral damage.

Also note that the media collaborated in the lies out of fear. They were reporting impossible numbers of people killed in Lebanon.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is what I recall. Please correct me if I am wrong. (Wikipedia is not a source.)
Time magazine accused Sharon of War Crimes. Sharon sued for libel.

The jury found that Time had lied.
The jury found that Time knew they were lying.
The jury found for time because they could not prove malice (!).

Time treated this as an exoneration!
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
There are normally two requirements for a libel conviction. (1) The allegation has to be materially/substantially untrue (not just in small details). (2) The allegation has to have been damaging.
For a public figure, in the interests of press freedom, there is the 3rd requirement that the charge has to have been made with 'actual malice' in the legal sense of the word. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actual_malice
The court ruled (1) and (2) proven, but not (3).
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's all true.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
What is the so-called "two state solution"? That the Arabs miscalled "Palestinians" should get yet another state from the tiny state of Israel? Has the fate of the "Oslo Process" not shown the futility of giving the Arab haters of Israel anything?
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's not the "peace process", but the "piece-by-piece process" ;)
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
"But there is no doubt Ariel Sharon put the Jewish state on a path from which it can’t easily turn back; a two state solution with its blood enemy, the Palestinians. No one yet knows how to get there. But Sharon showed his countrymen that there is security only in peaceful coexistence."

You did not read the first part of your own article, Rick. There may be no permanent security in a permanent state of war, but certainly there will be much less when and if the Palestine Authority becomes an actual state.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
I just look back on the number of times when Sharon had utterly destroyed and humiliated the massed Muslim armies. Yet Israel was never allowed by the United States to enjoy the fruits of those wins. Too bad.

By my recollection, Israel was in striking distance no less than 3 times in its history of delivering the vital mortal blow to Islam, necessary if there is every going to be a reformed and civilized Middle East. We yanked Sharon back every time, and stabbing ourselves in the back.

The world would be a far more peaceful place if Sharon had not been stopped.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
1956. 1967. 1973. And in Lebanon, Reagan stopped Israel, and replaced them with American troops, who were then murdered by the Arabs.

Both Reagan and Eisenhower (who made Israel give back the Sinai in 1956) later said that these were among the biggest mistakes of their administrations.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
And apparently, the "mistake" Eisenhower said he made in 1956 by demanding an Israeli withdrawal from the Suez led to Nassar's wild popularity in the Arab World, and probably emboldened him to start the six day war.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
I believe that he realized it when Naaser stabbed the US in the back and joined the Soviets. China was not so lucky; see Jung Chang, Mao, on the role of Eisenhower's pressure on the fall of Nationalist China. At that point, I think, the US stopped its official anti-Israel position.

Ironically, Eisenhower was magnificent in the aftermath of the liberation of the Death Camps.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
There's no security for Israel with peaceful,co-existence because it is impossible for them to peacefully co-exist with Palestinian Muslims. The Palestinians do not want to exist peacefully alongside Israel. They want to see Israel destroyed.
The Palestinians are nothing but squatters on Israeli land.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
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