Ariel “Arik” Sharon was the man at the focal-point of Israeli history from the fight for independence and the founding of the State of Israel to her defender throughout her wars often serving as the mainstay against disastrous potentials turning them into miraculous victories. Unfortunately, Arik Sharon will be remembered enough for his shortcomings as he will for his laudable victories both on the field of battle and within government service in the Knesset and as Minister of Defense and Prime Minister. Israel’s enemies will forever point to the assault on the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in 1982 by Christian ‘Phalanges’ militias taking revenge for the assaults and murders of Christians by Palestinian terrorists. Arik Sharon was cleared of direct responsibility for these attacks but will always suffer from suspicions that he could have taken steps to either prevent or severely curtail the resulting slaughter. Arik Sharon will also be remembered by many ardent Zionists as the man behind the destructions of the Sinai settlements when Israel traded the entire Sinai Peninsula for a potentially worthless treaty which may result in not being worth the paper it is printed on as well as the driving force behind the most disastrous political decision made throughout Israeli history, the disengagement from the Gaza Strip which resulted in allowing a Hamas governed terrorist entity that trains and launches endless attacks on Israelis living in the southern half of the country.
Where these detractions from what would otherwise be one of the most laudable men in the modern history of Israel will forever be noted in the written history, for the period of mourning for a man who served the nation and her people to the best of his formidable ability we should forgive his transgressions and pay homage and give thanks for all that the man known as the Bulldozer gave selflessly to the absolute best of his abilities. As a military commander and soldier he never showed any sign of weakness or indecision. No task he was assigned was ever too difficult as he surmounted every challenge in his path by plowing straight ahead as a bulldozer smashing all in his path. Arik Sharon was not one to shrink from challenges and was ever the bold leader needed at some of the darkest times of great challenge from the fight for independence through facing the terror threats and assaults by foreign armies. When confusion ruled the day, Arik Sharon would point his troops in the direction of the threats and always gave the same order, go forward, straight to the goal and let nothing stand to deny you your victory, and that was exactly what the troops under his command would do, executing somewhat out of fear of falling short and having to face Sharon and explain as well as because they had been well trained and had the confidence in themselves and in General Sharon.
For the time being, let us all praise the greatness as a protector of Eretz Yisroel and her people that was Arik Sharon and put aside any differences we may have had with the man who Israel could always rely upon on the field of battle. Admire a commander of troops for whom retreat was simply not moving forward as rapidly as he would have liked but never would it mean giving lands needing to pay for that same piece of ground twice. We should honor the man for whom everything could be settled with a good dose of boldness and determination, a trait he exalted on the battlefield and also brought to politics. It can be said simply that Arik Sharon did not take prisoners and could always be depended upon to advance never resting on his laurels. Let us remember Arik Sharon as a man of action who after a long service where remaining complacent was never a consideration faded slowly away allowing time for a nation to carefully consider his merits and deficiencies and hopefully the vast majority will side that Arik Sharon was a laudable man of convictions and proud in service of his country and its people. Eretz Yisroel owes him thanks for honest service in deed and thought, may he be accepted with grace, blessings, and Psalms of appreciation in Heaven.
Beyond the Cusp
There will be a vote today to decide on how to address and handle the second release of terrorist prisoners scheduled for Tuesday as previously agreed upon during the meetings with United States Secretary of State Kerry who enforced Mahmoud Abbas’s demands forcing Prime Minister Netanyahu to comply or else. Imagine if ever the Israelis demanded that the Palestinians agree to acquiesce on a point of contention to bring the Israelis to the negotiations table. The world would come unglued and the wrath of thousands of false denunciations would be loosed against Israel followed by embargos, sanctions and general condemnations from both the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. The European Union would have a stroke followed by a catatonic fit filled with fire and brimstones lobbed at the Israeli leadership. The pure astonishment and disbelief would be quite an amazing sight as the world recoiled in disbelief but whatever the Palestinians demand is to be guaranteed and delivered with a smile and a deep respectful bow as they condescendingly sneer in return. The world will not permit itself to be turned upside-down allowing the Israelis to be treated as equals against the Palestinians. The world has its order and that demands that Israel give concessions and the Palestinian never need show gratitude or civility but should they decide to instead murder Israelis then the world will simply demand that both sides, especially the Israelis, show restraint going forward. What never ceases to infuriate is that the world can make that demand up to three times per week after multiple heinous terrorist attacks in back-to-back succession have been launched upon innocent Israeli civilians including children of any age as well as parents, seniors and even at times Israeli Arabs are murdered simply for being in the restaurant, pizza shop, bus, train station, or any other public place and the world thinks nothing is out of sorts.
The intent by the leaders of the current Likud-Beytenu Coalition to attempt to mollify those Israelis who are against any further release of terrorist prisoners plan to propose more construction of housing in Judea and Samaria mostly in the major settlement blocks which have been previously viewed as to remain within the boundaries of Israel after the final agreements have been reached. This offer to build additional housing is a regular ruse used to mollify the ardent Zionists but this time they need to refuse to accept another empty promise. Every time that terrorists are released, the Palestinians are gifted with additional areas on which to build and control, or any other painful concession is given simply for the pleasure of having Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian leadership refuse to negotiate in good faith and eventually walk out blaming Israel for not committing suicide as requested couched in the phrase that Israel is refusing to negotiate in good faith. Of course Israel negotiating in good faith the Palestinians mean Israel lying down and dropping dead while the Palestinians take control of everything from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. The main reason that this promise should be refused and the deal to release terrorists rebuked is because the negotiations are a farce and the promise to build new housing is not entirely true as every past promise to build has met with delays, court battles, suspensions or simply been cancelled by one official or another. Last year there was Ehud Barak who as Minister of Defense had a veto over any construction in Judea and Samaria and he stood squarely blocking any plans to build. More recently Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has been blocking any building using the courts and his position to prevent or at least delay indefinitely any new construction. Even if all of those blocking the startup of new construction in Judea and Samaria were to have a change of heart, there would still be Justice Minister and lead negotiator with the Palestinians Tzipi Livni who was against any building beyond the Green Line even before she was gifted the position to lead the negotiating team. Justice Minister Livni would now do almost anything if she thought it would enhance her ability to continue the negotiations with the Palestinians and that might even include agreeing to give half of the Israeli Capital of Jerusalem including all of the Old City, Temple Mount, Kotel, Western Wall and all the precious and ancient Jewish religious places to the Palestinians if it might get an agreement and possibly put her in line for a Nobel Peace Prize. In many ways it now appears that Tzipi Livni has caught the same peace bug that has taken complete control over the thinking processes of Israeli President Peres. Once upon a time Tzipi Livni would have stood with the Zionists but now she is firmly in the corner with those who believe in peace at almost any cost.
That is a dangerous place as the Palestinian appetite for taking from the Jews everything from land to lives and their futures in their own lands is insatiable and even feeding it the smallest morsel only serves to make that beast even more ravenous and craving yet another bite. For that reason one does not release their enemy who is sworn to murder even their smallest children so that they may carry out their heinous and hideous threats. No country has ever done such insanity before and Israel is the sole nation that such has ever been forced upon. The reason for this is obvious and need not be spoken, but we know why and that is but another reason to end the insanity now and refuse to talk until the Palestinians have made one concession in Arabic before their own people, the recognition of Israel’s right to be the national homeland for the Jewish people. Until that has been established there should be no reason to talk as without that there can be no honest negotiation and even the Palestinians are aware of that. That is why they refuse to admit that and they negotiate only as a ruse and a lie in order to force concessions using the Europeans and the Americans to force their will upon the Israeli leadership. No recognition, no prisoner release, and not more talks. Call once you have decided to negotiate honestly and we have defined how the Palestinians can prove their desire to negotiate is valid and real.
Beyond the Cusp