Thursday, January 05, 2006

Sharon's Mission Must Continue

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is, as most of you know, gravely ill after suffering a stroke. The reports are not hopeful and, at this time, it appears that should Mr. Sharon survive, he will be greatly incapacitated.

Of all the world leaders, Sharon is one of the most complex. He is a war hero who swept into power on a right-wing platform promising harsh retribution against Palestinian terrorists. And, in his early tenure as Prime Minister, he did just that. But then he did something few politicians, let alone world leaders, ever do. He learned. He listened. And he grew as a man and a leader.

In the last few years, Sharon has matured into a statesman with the will to combat the extremists on both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian divide. Even has he is rightly keeping a boot on the neck of the terrorists, he is also rightly confronting the settlers whose militancy added constant fuel to the fires. Sharon has become so committed to ending extremism, he broke away from his own party to form a Centrist party consisting of other Israeli politicians who know that Israeli can appease neither the terrorists nor the settlers and must instead cut a new path.

When Sharon became PM, I was wary of his harsh rhetoric and worried his tenure would only exacerbate the problems plaguing the area. But his toughness in the face of terrorism, when the rest of us still misunderstood the depth of the problem of Islamic extremism, proved to be the right instinct. And his new found toughness in the face of the militancy within his own people gave the world new hope that somehow, someway peace could be achieved.

But now what? What cruelty of fate would take down a man seemingly entering the height of his greatness? I pray his illness is not as bad as it seems and that he recovers. Or should this be his last moments, I pray that others will lift the sword and the olive branch he’s dropped and continue forward.


Blogger AubreyJ said...

It is so nice to be able to read your thoughts and views again...
Welcome back Alan!!!

11:55 AM  

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