Roger L. Simon

Bad news - Sharon in 'significant stroke'

Sharon reportedly alive after six hours of surgery!… But the surgery is continuing, alas.

IMPORTANT: Statement on Sharon’s condition be released 6:45AM Israel time.

Ariel Sharon, a man I have come to admire greatly, has suffered a ‘significant stroke‘ according to doctors at Hadassah University Hospital.

UPDATE: Haaretz (probably the best place to follow this) is now reporting Sharon in serious condition with paralysis in lower body. Operation imminent.

From the AP: Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a cerebral hemorrhage Wednesday and was receiving breathing assistance while under general anesthetic, a hospital official said. Power was transferred to his deputy.

He’s in surgery.

The gravity of this situation cannot be overestimated. Sharon had matured into a remarkable leader in the most perilous times, as Buddy Larsen notes below.

Sky News is reporting ‘political sources’ saying Sharon might not recover.

UPDATE: The extraodinary poltical power of Arik Sharon is underscored in this article by Yossi Verter:

Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu and Labor Chairman Amir Peretz, who until Wednesday night weren’t viable candidates for the premiership, became just that overnight. The third candidate, who will be chosen as chairman of Kadima (Olmert looks like he has the best chances) will need to try to recreate Sharon’s success.

This will be an extremely difficult task, because there hasn’t been an experienced, seasoned and talented politician for a long time now among leaders such as the ones we’re left with – not like Ariel Sharon. (via Vital Perspectives)