A nation saying goodbye

The eleventh Prime Minister of Israel Ariel Sharon (85 years old) was laid to rest today in Havat HaShikmim. Sharon will be remembered as a controversial figure and leader by the Israeli nation. Sharon was one of the last the founding generation of Israel. He was always a head in everything through his military career to his political career. He established what was considered the first commando division, brigade 101, that specialize in retaliation act into enemy territory as a reaction to attacks made by Arabs infiltrators. After the Sixth Day War (1967), Sharon’s war tactics were taught around the world’s military academies. After he realized that he won’t be appointed as a commander in chief of the Israel Defense Forces’ he decided to retire from his military life and to begin a political career. As a result from this move in 1976, he was appointed as the Israeli minister of agriculture. Due to his new duty he focused in leveraging the settlements in Judea, Samaria and the Galilee. In 1981, he was appointed to minister of defense, and was responsible to the evacuation of the Yamit and Sinai settlements that occurred in 1982. Although he was not vegetarian nor vegan Sharon was the first minister that passed a law regarding forbidding the foie gras controversy in Israel.

In 2001 Sharon was elected to the fifteen Knesset (Israeli Parliament) as a prime minister, and one of the first things he did was to close the office of the Palestinian authority in Jerusalem. Has a Prime minister he had to deal with a massive wave of terror in the country. After “the black march”, the government leaded by Sharon decided to execute “Operation Defensive Shield” and “Operation Determined Path” that succeeded to crush the terrorist infrastructure in Judea and Samaria. Sharon was best in turning the tables around and as a result of his action he became unforeseen which made him in the end the great general he became. Sharon also left a mark on the Arab world that feared his unexpected attitude towards them.

Another turning point appeared in 2003, when Sharon brought up his “disengagement plan”. After his own party voted against his plan he decided to get rid of the right angle ministers of the government that might thwart the plan. In 2005 his plan was carried out and caused an irreversible damage to the Israeli society. As stated his death brought up again the dispute upon Sharon and his agenda. Despite the controversial opinions regarding him, one cannot deny his contribute to the state of Israel, as a leader and as military officer.

Danielle Antebi