Ariel Sharon, R.I.P.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

An Excerpt from Gary's End of Day: 1-13-14

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon passed away over the weekend after eight years in a coma. I was honored to meet with Prime Minister Sharon and a number of Israeli cabinet members on one of my first trips to Israel. We discussed the long alliance between our two great nations and why it must be maintained. 

It was predictable but depressing to see reporters from a number of networks, including even Fox News, engaging in moral equivalence upon his death. This CNN headline is a good example: "Ariel Sharon: Hero or butcher?" The people who thought Sharon was a butcher and a war criminal were the enemies of Israel, who Sharon smashed whenever he could. 

I believe that he made only one significant error. That was to believe Israel could withdraw from Gaza and get credit in the international community for doing so. The 2005 decision deeply divided Israel, and in short order Gaza fell into the hands of Hamas. It has been a launching pad for attacks on Israel ever since. 

We learned all we needed to know about what Gaza would become when news broke that the Jews who lived there were not the only ones being forcibly evacuated. The Jews who died there had to be evacuated too. Jewish graves were literally dug up and the bodies removed because everyone understood that the graves would be desecrated by the Palestinians. Sadly, Israel has no credible partner in this so-called "peace process" with whom it can make peace.