Like a cricket batsman run out without facing a ball, our Prime Minister Ariel Sharon appears to have been beaten by a ball that came from a direction he least expected... and that we least expected until a few weeks ago. We pray for his speedy recovery. May G-d reduce his suffering and give him strength.
World media is going mad, I mean, has gone mad. It's just incredible how very center of the world Israel is. Jews make news it appears. Post-disengagement sees Sharon as a respected and strong world leader with the courage to take tough decisions even against his own instinct and that of many Israelis. The way the media relate to him now is quite unrecognizable on days gone past.
It is no exaggeration that the Israeli political scene has just taken a big hit by an earthquake of Hollywood proportions and the aftershocks will continue up until election day and beyond.
Riding high (very high!) in the polls, Sharon is largely viewed as the only man able and willing (even if with heavy heart) to finally lead the Israeli people away from those who seek to hurt us. It isn't that he likes Palestinians nor trusts them. How could he? Still, he recognized their need for separation from us too and wanted to use his next term to draw the final boundaries of the Jewish state, with or without Palestinian goodwill and cooperation.
His recent UN speech saw him proudly stand and declare to the the entire world that this Land has enveloped Jewish history for thousands of years and that it is a land to which he feels utmost commitment and love. And yet, a few sentences later he recognized the right of the Palestinians to a State and to rights. He believed that regardless of wholesome Jewish rights to the land, modern realities led us to new understandings of what the future must be.
I'm not eulogizing him yet. Still, it's worth considering the fate of Kadima and its leaders who jumped from various ships to have a free ride on the Arik Sharon bandwagon to power. Noone holds the clout nor the respect that Sharon does, neither within Kadima nor elsewhere.
It's incredible when you think about it, that PM Rabin was murdered while pursuing a risky (proven to be very risky) 'land for peace' path. Many say that had Rabin lived, we would have had peace now. People trusted Rabin and believed that his strength would lead to quiet and growth.
Sharon, also a great military figure-come-politician holds similar (though not identical) aspirations. In his pursuit of separation (also a Rabin goal), Ariel Sharon has also been cut down in his prime.
Coincidence? Uncanny? Strange? Sad? Hmmm...
Even if many Israelis did not agree with him nor his methods, all MKs and citizens pray for his recovery. Sharon was a stable, solid leader and the ever-hungry neighborhood bullies are sure to remind us how much we will miss his Jewish-Zionist pride, his insight and experience.
I think I've said it before (yes, in several posts in the last month)... three months is a very long time in the life of the State of Israel!