In the wake of Ariel Sharon’s death, JCall recalls that the former Prime Minister of Israel belonged to the first generation of pioneers who founded the country.
His name will remain closely associated with the defence of Israel, to which he devoted his entire life. During his very controversial existence, he was at the same time the strenuous commander who reversed the odds of the Yom Kippur war by crossing the Suez canal surrounding the Egyptian Third Army and also the Minister of defence who led Israel to the catastrophic invasion of Lebanon in 1982. Soon afterwards, a committee appointed by the Israeli government, found Sharon indirectly responsible for neglecting the danger of an incoming massacre when Christian militias occupied the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Chatila.
For our part, we note that Sharon after having been one of the champions of the Israeli settlement enterprise in the Occupied Territories on two occasions moved to dismantle some settlements: the first time in Yamit in the Sinai in the framework of the peace treaty with Egypt and a second time in 2005 with the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. On that occasion Sharon evacuated also four small settlements in the north of Samaria, possibly a sign that he envisaged to dismantle more settlements in the rest of the West Bank so that Israel could remain – as he used to say – “a democratic state with a Jewish majority”.
Unfortunately, his illness prevented the world from knowing whether he would have pursued his disengagement plan, leaving to his successors the responsibility of carrying it through.