This morning, an article titled ‘Arik, We Will Complete the Work’ and penned by Israel’s leader of the opposition, was published in an Israeli media channel. I read the article several times and found it loaded with emotion and longings but very short on detail. What work exactly do you intend to complete, Madam?
Ariel Sharon was a very experienced general and achieved several impressive military victories – the most important one being the crossing of the Suez Canal during the 1973 Yom Kippur war and the siege of the town of Suez and the Third Egyptian Army, a move that practically brought the war to an end. When the discussion turns to Ariel Sharon’s achievements as a Defence Minister and later as a Prime Minister, the right honourable Madam will have to forgive me – I do not share her emotional enthusiasm.
Ariel Sharon was the architect of the 1982 war in Lebanon, a war of choice he nearly started several times before the attempt on the life of the Israeli ambassador to London, and into which he manoeuvred the then Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and the State of Israel. His attempt to crown his ally Bachir Gemayel as President of Lebanon was thwarted by the Syrian Intelligence which assassinated Gemayel in the best Lebanese tradition. Arafat and his men sailed off to Tunis and Israel was left with the baby – the Hezbollah terror organisation that was born as a result of this war.
I will not enter into the way Sharon and his sons ran the ‘Likud’ party and the Israeli government during his time as Prime Minister. I will also not discuss the motives that brought him to decide on the disengagement from the Gaza Strip at the particular time he did, with his famous former declaration ’The fate of Netzarim is the same as the fate of Tel-Aviv’ still echoing in the background. The images that come up in the Israeli consciousness when the disengagement is mentioned are of Gush Katif settlers being dragged out of their homes by female IDF soldiers. I have different images come up. The images of the irresponsible abandonment of the Philadelphi Route which became a sieve of tunnels through which the missiles that hit Ashkelon, Ashdod and Beer-Sheva, and that will hit Tel-Aviv, are smuggled daily since the disengagement.
Madam leader of the opposition – we hear a lot from you about ‘The Way of Kadima’. Which way are you talking about? Obviously not the way of David Ben-Gurion or Menachem Begin. If you wish to follow the way of Ariel Sharon and complete his work, which only God knows what it is, then good luck to you. Do not be surprised if you and your party will disappear from the Israeli political map after the next elections.