Yesterday, just as I was ascending in a cable car looking out over Haifa and the sea, my phone went into a meltdown of buzzes and beeps.
Ariel Sharon had finally passed. It’s not the place of Israellycool to write comprehensive obituaries but we won’t fail to mark the passing of this great hero.
Now is also not the time to argue: we can agree on so much more. The man was a great defender of Israel, a builder and, above all, a great, proud Jew.
We don’t seem to have a generation of leaders these days. That is a huge pity.
Here’s a story posted by my former podcast partner:
In 1948, Ariel Sharon was given the task of leading a unit of Holocaust survivors fresh off the boat from Europe into battle at Latrun, in an effort to relieve the siege of Jerusalem. Most of these men were barely fit for battle, but the situation was utterly desperate, and Ben Gurion insisted the operation had to go ahead no matter what the cost. Sharon explained the situation to his unit, and they told him that despite their lack of training and equipment, they knew the odds and were prepared to fight. At least if they did, it would be with a weapon in their hands, facing the enemy, rather than in a Nazi concentration camp. They were, predictably, cut to bits, although Jerusalem was eventually relieved. Every year since then, on the anniversary of the battle, Sharon visited the cemetery where they were buried. Many of them had no families, and he felt their sacrifice was something that needed to be remembered.
Israeli PM’s Facebook post: