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Monday, January 20, 2014 

The left's selective view of Ariel Sharon

Emily Amrousi wrote about how the left views Ariel Sharon after he did just what they wanted nearly a decade ago, and otherwise trashed saner people's ability to admire him:
The man who built a hundred communities and won a hundred battles, and in the end destroyed 26 communities and lost the great battle against Gazan terrorism when he surrendered and withdrew from the Gaza Strip to the last millimeter of the 1949 lines, cannot be preserved in our memory for his acts in the battle of Umm Katef. The man during whose funeral rockets were fired from the ruins of the communities he uprooted cannot be labeled as the savior of Israel.

Ariel Sharon was devoted to protecting Israel's security. He was even excellent at it. He established the settlements not on the map of history, not according to the biblical deed of ownership, but according to the "finger plan": fingers of settlement that would keep the Palestinians from achieving territorial contiguity. And when security is the only justification, it does not hold water. Is that hard? Take out the fingers. I put my hand down; now I am pulling it back out. It was not security needs that put Ze'ev Hever, the charismatic settler leader, on the hill, and it is not the pitfalls of security that will bring him down from it. "We will not let go, Arik. We will not let go," he said. Not because of security or despite it, but because it belongs to us.

In the five days over which the fingers in the south were destroyed, Sharon won the hearts of the media. And how easy that was to do. Five months before he announced the disengagement, I sat opposite him as a journalist. The questions were about the Greek island affair, his son Gilad's silence under police questioning, the letter from the pilots who disobeyed orders. Sharon sweated. Physically. One back-flip, and the politician who was an expert at being controversial came into the consensus. Honey and citrus fruit. It was not the usual whitewashing that occurs after death, but a production line that manufactured an alternate life. There are citrus fruit on Tu Bishvat, too.

In the fight over public opinion that took place here this week, the left wing proved its selective memory. With awe at his "courage" -- he used his cleverness to defeat families and farmers -- they forbore to mention Lebanon and all the rest. Even I can remember selectively: This was the man who destroyed a portion of Israel to save his skin from criminal investigations. The man who got us into trouble with Hamas and abandoned the Negev, who lied brazenly and raised political corruption to an art form.

The orchestra of the fourth estate transformed the right-wing general into a perfect Mapainik, cut and pasted his history, and gave a prolonged salute to the man who fulfilled the left wing's dream by dragging Jews out of their homes as they clung to the doorposts. The tone and the scale of coverage were on the level of re-education. Citizens passed the coffin, weeping and quoting what they had heard on television that morning. The Education Ministry published a teacher's guide ("A brief overview of Ariel Sharon's leadership") that compared Sharon to the biblical Moses ("The leader as shepherd: A comparison to Moses, the faithful shepherd, in light of Sharon's leadership as described in the president's eulogy") and compared Peres' eulogy to King David's lament for Saul and Jonathan on Mount Gilboa, no less. The North Koreans could not have done better.

But why did all this even happen? Because if Sharon's term had gone on and he had not fallen into a coma several months after the disengagement, he would have brought "peace" (that is, he would have fulfilled the heart's desire of generations and uprooted more communities). And like in 1995, it stopped. Nipped in the bud. Only this time, there is no one to blame because he went the way of all flesh; so they find Orit Struk. The media, decorated with their heart's desires, missed the target. Outside the bubble, in the litmus test of the funeral, the public was not there.
That's the real picture.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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