Eight years in comma before death. Terrible. Ariel Sharon has been politically dead since 2006. Now is physically dead and it seems it’s time to comment about his achievements and failures as a military man and a statesman. He’s been praised these days after his death by some as a man of peace and a pragmatic. But his years as a Prime Minister were ones of great violence. He was a soldier, a man of war and action.
He had in his biography the horrible episode of the Sabra and Shatila massacres of Palestinians in Lebanon en 1982 at hands of Lebanese militias that happened under his watch.
His visit surrounded by policemen and guards to the Temple Mount or the Mosques Esplanade in Jerusalem and the following protests dispersed by the Israeli army using lethal ammunition, provoked the second Intifada. It lasted from 2000 to 2005 with a lot of violence and 4,000 victims. As Prime Minister he ordered to enter with tanks and troops into Gaza and the West Bank and siege cities. He had the former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat confined in his compound of Ramallah and refused to negotiate with him. He promised security to his people by all means.
During his mandate as Prime Minister in a move that surprised many and angered others, he ordered and completed the withdrawal of the jewish settlements from Gaza in 2005.
As many statesmen had an ambitious plan for the future of Israel and the relations with the Palestinians. He left the Likud and created his own party: Kadima and won the elections to be able to put in practice his plan. Arafat was already dead. He was willing to negotiate with Mahmud Abbas. The second Intifada was over. The violence had decreased. Everything seemed in track. But in a few months he fell in coma and never awoke. Now the Prime Minister is his old fierce rival in Likud Benjamin Netanyahu. The peace process seems stuck. Gaza is blocked. The separation Wall advances, the settlements in the West Bank are in expansion. Despite the efforts for a peace agreement the situation seems frozen precisely because of the problem of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
Sabra and Shatila