As I write this Ariel Sharon clings to life after surgery. Press reports seem to indicate that even if Sharon does make a full recovery it may be unlikely that he will be able to resume full prime ministerial responsibilities.
According to Israel's Basic Law: The Government states that "if the prime minister is temporarily prevented from fulfilling his duties, he will be replaced by the vice premier. In the event the prime minister fails to regain capacity to function within 100 days, he will be considered unable to fulfill the post altogether."
So this begs the very real question, what comes next?
Kadima, the party that Sharon convened was due to win the spoils in the next election with a comfortable win. Kadima is Sharon's baby and it is unclear how much Sharon and Kadima are manifestations of the other. I think the average Israeli would be hard pressed to recall five Kadima members. Kadima is a hodge-podge of people from all walks of life, from university professors, ex-settlement leaders, people from entertainment and even the leader of the scouts.
In principle I do agree with bringing people in from different sectors other than politics. Their experience in other areas could prove valuable to a Knesset almost full of career politicians whose experience of other facets of life is minimal.
If Kadima do suffer as a result, then where will the votes go? Will people return to the Likud or swing to the social issues platform of Amir Peretz? I personally believe that as much as others would have it, this election is about security and shaping our future borders. The Likud position is far closer to Sharon's than Labour's and with liked expunging what they believe are extremist elements, the public may look to the next most experienced politician in Bibb neaten. neaten people may remember has achieved agreements with the Palestinians, notably WY and Hepburn.
While many of us may not be happy with sharing policies during his career and especially the way he went about implementing them, we should all wish him a speedy recovery. Whatever else we may agree on, we should agree that Sharon believed in his path and that whatever he did was for the good of Israel. Whether it be in the army or in politics, Sharon had his eye on the security of Israel.
With that said, we wish him the traditional Jewish greeting of 'Until 120', meaning may he live his full allotted time and make a speedy recovery.