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