January 12, 2014

Ariel Sharon - A Reconsideration

Ariel Sharon in 1969. Young and slim once.

Following Ariel Sharon's death on January 11, 2014 I have several thoughts

It is easy to paint Sharon as a demon but its harder to place him in context.

Sharon's brutality when in the military was in the context of brutal sectarian and interstate conflict in the Middle East.

A judgement about Sharon is often tied to a judgement of Israel.

Extremists of the right and left are often unintenionally united in their anti-Semitism. They therefore condemn Sharon in life and death.


jbmoore said...

One has to look at the entire life of someone to determine if he or she is a monster. Then, there are monsters and there are Monsters. Hitler would be seen as a hero of WWI if his rise to power had never happened. Stalin was likely as bad or worse, yet he lived to a ripe old age. Compared to a Hitler or a Stalin or a Pol Pot, Sharon smells like roses. So, the demonization of him is a bit hyperbolic. No one doubts that Hitler or Stalin or Pot killed more of their people than foreigners. I've not heard of Sharon killing any of his own people. Even if he was a monster, he was a small one. Only time will tell what his legacy will be.

Pete said...


Yes Sharon had an image problem. Outside Israel his service in the army, defence minister and Prime Minister meant that he epitomised Israeli militarism. Also he was over weight and pugnacious in his last 3 decades which lost him popularity points. Packaging counts.

Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot killed millions while Sharon 100s. On the Middle East scale I think Sharon was not as bad as Saddam Hussein or current President Assad of Syria.