Monday, August 15, 2005

Ariel Sharon addressing the Israeli public tonight. Whether you love or hate him ( or something in between ), and no matter how many dark sheeps this man has in the closet that is his personal history ( what a terrible sentence and what an awful metaphor ) , most of us will have to admit that they never believed that what Sharon started about two years ago would result in an Israeli pullout from Gaza, that he would be able to pull this off. I will say it several more times: he will not win a beauty contest for the way his 'plan' has been prepared and is being implemented, and I am convinced that not only legitimate considerations and concerns led him to the disengagement plan, but he does deserve some credit, even if it was only for his perseverance and - yes - courage.
Today he was blamed by many for not going to the settlers personally to confront them, and of sending his officers and soldiers instead. He met more than once with settler representatives, and as far as official visits by government and army representatives to Gaza are concerned: in many cases their tires were punctured and they were often harassed by the same riff-raff that we saw today show its 'solidarity' with the settlers of Gaza. I am sure that those responsible for the PM's security would not have allowed him to go there.
Lik with most people on the Left my support for Sharon is temporary, opportunistic and far from being unconditional. The day after the completion of the pullout he will have to convince many Israelis that he deserves to continue to lead this country after the coming elections. Hopefully he won't be re-elected only because the alternative(s) is ( are ) much, much worse.

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