areiel sharon

Ariel Sharon: Famous Israeli General and Former Prime Minister  Dead at 85

The famous Israeli Prime Minister and General Ariel Sharon has finally succumbed to death after 8 years in a vegetative state. His death brings up memories on both side of the border. To Israel he was a national treasure. To the Arab forces he was a butcher. Sharon was the Israeli equivalent of US New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the original political tough guy.

Ariel Sharon dead

 

Fiercely protective of the tiny reborn nation of Israel that he more than once led in various capacities, Sharon came into criticism for massacres that occurred during his tenure as Defense Minister in 1982, in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in Southern Lebanon.

 

 

It was reported that  Israeli soldiers under his command stood by as the largely Shiite and Palestinian camp residents were murdered by a group of “Christian” forces. This was a revenge killing as a result of the Syrian induced murder of the newly elected Christian President of Lebanon President Gamayel. Because this was an internal Lebanese issue Sharon chose to stand aside and let the killing go on unimpeded when he could have stepped in. This scandal forced his resignation from this post.

 

 

Sharon was Prime Minister of Israel from 2001 to 2006. His own life tracked the history of the State of Israel. As a kid, barely out of his teens, he first served as a young commando in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in the 1948 War of Independence.  This battle for national survival followed, within hours, the UN declaration of the establishment state of Israel. For the first time since the Roman conquest of Jerusalem in 70 AD, there was again a state of Israel.

 

 

Israel’s survival was not guaranteed. Fears of another holocaust were real as this tiny new state peopled by survivors of the death camps of Europe and Hitler’s final solution, was simultaneously attacked by the combined forces of her Arab neighbors Egypt, Jordan and Syria. It was in this bitter struggle for survival that Ariel Sharon cut his eye teeth and was tested.

 

Ariel Sharon: Love Him or Hate Him

 

Sharon was known as a brilliant strategist and considered to be the greatest field commander in the history of the modern state of Israel. He also was strongly in favor of the building of settlements in East Jerusalem that remain a bone of contention in US attempts to force a peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians as we speak. When I was early in my now 46-year long career of taking holy land tours, the president of the company that I then represented, met with Sharon and was very impressed with him as a man. He found him to be genial, tough, warm and fiercely committed to the survival of the State of Israel.

 

On this site it is my intention to address a wide variety of issues related to the Holy Land. We cover the gamut of history, theology, current events, archaeology and the current political tides. As such we welcome and encourage your comments and healthy interchange as we continue to learn together. Consider coming along with us as we go on our Holy Land tours.