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It is the mark of Ariel Sharon that in death the glowing tributes to his military prowess were not the manufactured puffery that usually infuses these exercises. To be sure, there were the usual critics along the way making relatively minor points. But he really was the fearless, innovative, consummate military leader and defender of Israel everyone is talking about.
In retrospect, Mr. Sharon seemed tailor-made for the modern state of Israel’s ongoing plight as the focus of non-stop enmity on the part of nearly 100 million Arab neighbors. Indeed, the story of Israel’s perseverance in the face of countless terrorist attacks and several major wars since its inception cannot be told without major attention being paid to the contributions he made.
In 1948 he played a key role in defending Jerusalem during the War of Independence. In the early 1950s he showed no quarter in responding to terrorist attacks in a manner that earned him a reputation for ruthlessness – but that also put terrorists on notice that fearsome retribution was the price they would pay for raising their hands against Jews in Israel.
In the 1956 Sinai campaign against Egypt, his unit, against orders, captured the strategic Mitla Pass, though he was criticized over the operation’s timing.
In the 1967 Six-Day War, Mr. Sharon distinguished himself at the head of a brigade in a successful assault on the well-fortified Arab position at Abu Agheila/Umm, which was key to the Arab control of the Sinai. He was also highly praised for the achievements of his armored division in the capture of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and Sinai Peninsula.
Perhaps his most noted exploit was at the head of a commando unit that drove across the Suez Canal into Egypt during the Yom Kippur War. He cut off and neutralized Egypt’s Third Army, turning the tide of the fighting. Significantly, Cairo was in shelling distance of his artillery, and the Egyptians were more than happy to agree to a cease-fire.
In sum, Ariel Sharon was the symbol to the world of a nation of Jews that could take care of itself if left to its own devices, and an international force to be reckoned with.
He was also a force in Israel’s political life, his tumultuous governmental career capped by his election in 2001 as prime minister, and he is generally credited by friends and foes alike for making a difference in Israel’s position in the international arena.
Yet it was in the latter sphere that the great and enduring blemish on his public service arose. By ordering the forced, unilateral eviction of the entire Jewish population of the Gaza Strip as some will-o-the-wisp gesture to peace, Mr. Sharon showed the world that reciprocity henceforth would no longer be a principle of the Jewish state in its dealings with the Arabs, that Jewish interests were expendable, and that exerting pressure on Israel is a policy that ultimately bears fruit.
And these are dangerous impressions, whatever Mr. Sharon’s motivations and expectations were when he made that fateful decision.
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Am Yisrael is one family, filled with excruciating pain&sorrow for losing the 4 kedoshim of Har Nof
What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.
Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.
Obama obtained NO verifiable commitments from Cuba it would desist from acts prejudicial to the US
No one would deny that the program subjected detainees to less than pleasant treatment, but the salient point is, for what purpose?
For the past six years President Obama has consistently deplored all Palestinian efforts to end-run negotiations in search of a UN-imposed agreement on Israel.
It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.
For Am Yisrael, the sun’s movements are subservient to the purpose of our existence.
Israelis now know Arab terrorism isn’t caused by Israeli occupation but by ending Israeli occupation
Anti-Semitism is a social toxin that destroys the things that people most cherish and enjoy.
Amb. Cooper highlighted the impact of the Chanukah/Maccabee spirit on America’s Founding Fathers
Zealousness has its place and time in Judaism; Thank G-d for heroic actions of the Maccabees!
It seems to us that while the Jewish entitlement to the land of Israel transcends the Holocaust, the Jewish experience during that tragic time is the most solid of foundations for these “national rights.”
Last year the Obama administration sought to minimize civilian deaths from drone strikes by generally requiring that missile attacks be limited to instances where Americans were directly threatened and there was a “near certainty” that no civilians would be killed.
If anything, Operation Protective Edge showed that Israel will not pull punches when it comes to combating terror.
Toward the end of Operation Protective Edge this past summer, the president was unusually vocal about Israel’s so-called disproportionate use of force and alleged lack of compliance with international humanitarian law.
There was no accompanying caption, but the cartoon could not help but feed the anti-Semitic canard that Israel was responsible for 9/11.
An accomplished Torah scholar and ardent adherent of Bobov chassidus, he was renowned for his self-effacing dedication and skills as an international lawyer and law professor
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