By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
Ariel Sharon is dead.
Since his stroke in 2006 the former prime minister of Israel has been nonresponsive. Even though he has been gone for nearly eight years, now is the time when Israel and the world must say their final goodbyes.
Everyone had an opinion about Ariel Sharon. No one was indifferent about him. You either liked him or hated him - nationally and internationally. To Sharon it made no difference, his actions and decisions were based on his own convictions, not a desire to either please or to enrage others.
Ariel Sharon was a great warrior and he was a great politician.
Seldom are politicians so simple and so direct, Sharon was different because Sharon approached politics like he approached war.
Sharon was very easy to understand. His priorities were simple and clear on every level. He never minced words. He was a pragmatist.
He achieved his goals by placing them in priority order and then attacking them one by one.
Most of all, Ariel Sharon was a master tactician - in that arena, he was truly unparalleled.
The overarching goal of Ariel Sharon at every level - prime minister, defense minister, member of Knesset, author, private citizen, land owner and farmer - was the protection of Israel.
The word of Sharon was his promise, and yet, he was a man of action, not words. Part of his appeal for the Israeli public was that people believed that Ariel Sharon would deliver on his word. And he did.
Surely there was much controversy in his life and surrounding his career and I do not know how history will treat Ariel Sharon. But I do know that the world, not just Israel, not just the Middle East, the world has lost a great man, a true hero. May his memory be blessed.
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