Thursday, January 05, 2006

More on Sharon's stroke

In this article, the New York Times points out the difficulties In treating this type of stroke. It sounds very bad for Sharon.

I've been feeling kind of paralyzed since I heard the news of Sharon's stroke about 6:00 p.m. tonight - and sad. I am reminded somewhat of the night of Rabin's assassination, although that of course was death by violence, and this is not. That same feeling of being in limbo and not know what's going to happen next. Of being on a deathwatch, and waiting to hear the news.

When Sharon first became Prime Minister, in the wake of the beginning of the second intifada, I thought it was going to be a disaster for Israel (not that Ehud Barak did very well in dealing with the intifada). All I could remember was the massacres at Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982, when Sharon was Defense Minister and the Phalangist militia killed hundreds on his watch. But then when he actually became Prime Minister, he didn't seem that different from Barak - and gradually, he began to change, especially after the death of Arafat. The old warrior seemed to be recognizing the reality before his face - that Israel could not continue to occupy another people. I thought that he was very impressive last summer with the withdrawal from Gaza, and hoped that this was a harbinger of future withdrawals. Now, even if he survives, I can't imagine that he'll be able to continue to serve as Prime Minister, or to lead a party in the elections. Everything has been thrown up completely in the air.

There are Israeli politicians whose policies I agree with more than Sharon's - Amir Peretz for example - but he seemed the most likely to be able to get Israel out of a large part of the West Bank. I don't believe that anyone in Kadima will be able to take his place as a leader - no one else has his stature (except Peres, but Peres is no good at winning elections).


  1. Refeah shlema to ariel sharon. if he doesn't return to being PM, this may be a blessing for Amir Peretz who could be Israels next PM.

  2. Well, I hope that Peretz will be Israel's next Prime Minister - but I doubt it. In any case, I agree with refuah shelemah to Sharon.