Former controversial Israeli Military General, Israeli Defense Minister, and Israeli Prime Minister: Ariel Sharon was born on Feb. 26, 1928 and died on Jan. 11, 2014. The last 8 years of his life, he lived in a coma of such a long duration and incapacitation that justice may have caught up with him. The humiliation, degradation, and suffering that he was responsible for as an Israeli leader and so called war hero by some, may have met with a universal equilibrium of universal justice that tends to be a natural part of life’s existence, more so than not. What goes around comes around; even if one may not be cognizant of the facts or reality of the natural law of justice at the time.
Concerning war Sharon was a strategic, sophisticated, heroic and vicious leader; one who accomplished what governments and the people want in their military leaders. Sharon was there from the birth of Israel with the so called 1948 War of Independence, depending on whose side, one was on. In war, the loser on the offensive is considered a terrorist and the winner a freedom fighter. From that aspect, Sharon rose victorious militarily and politically to his people and the larger outside world of military giants like the United States, with a small but influential Jewish population.
Not only does the victor write history but characteristics and traits deemed evil by a neutral society can become awe inspiring by the government and the people of the victorious society. Of course when one loses, the leader naturally becomes Attila the Hun; to the outside world, even if the facts bear no evidence to the realities of the situation and the conflict of the war at the time. All wars have their atrocities on both sides. Bearing all this in mind: no one can doubt the courage, patriotism and leadership of Sharon to the Israeli people.
On the other hand, going beyond self defense to extreme cruelty is man’s ingrained animal instinct. With violence all around, man becomes part of his environment. One begins to lose a sense of compassion for his fellow man as a human being and total annihilation of the so called enemy becomes the mindset. This can be seen with Sharon’s 1982 actions as Israeli Defense Minister concerning the Sabra and Shatila massacres, where Sharon was held indirectly responsible but also negligent and derelict of his duties by the Israeli Kahan Commission; for the brutality that took place during the Sept. 16 through Sept. 18, 1982 massacres in Lebanon. Sharon was forced to resign by enormous political pressure as well as by the recommendation of the Kahan Commission which stated the following: “We have found … that the Minister of Defense (Ariel Sharon) bears personal responsibility.”
The massacres involved the death of some 700 to 800 civilian Palestinians and Lebanese Shiites by the Lebanese Christian Phalangist militias according to the conservative leaning estimates by the Israeli military intelligence. The Israeli military at the time occupied the camps and allowed their allies the Phalangist militias not only into the camps but according to the 1983 United Nations Commission chaired by former UN Secretary General Sean McBride, “Israel as the occupiers of the camps bore responsibility for the genocidal violence that occurred during the massacres.”
There is no doubt that Sharon was a major historic player on the stage of the Israeli and Palestinian conflict. The numerous decades of conflict concerning both sides is a long drawn out and complicated process of one side claiming to be returning to their homeland a couple of thousand years later and one considering the other a long gone intruder to a people who have been there for untold generations. Life is not a simple black and white plot of right and wrong but an endless search for the truth and diplomacy. In the end Sharon may have caused more harm than good but that is up to history to decide. At the present time the Palestinian voices are small, heroic, and struggling for justice while the voices of Israel are well heard thru the walls of Congress in the United States due to the remarkable and well financed American Israeli Political Action Committee. In the end the truth always comes out but sometimes the truth can take centuries. The Palestinian people don’t have centuries to wait, they need peace, security, and the opportunity for prosperity now. Will the ghost of the now deceased Sharon allow this ? Or will his past actions have given the Israeli people to much pride and arrogance to even allow a real path to peace with the Palestinians. The road to Sharon is now open for public debate.
An Editorial By Gregory John Bretza, Jr