They called him a bulldozer when he planted the settlements, and indeed he acted like a bulldozer when he uprooted them. The evacuation of the Israeli settlers from Gaza was a military operation. Sharon smashed the settlers in Gaza in the same blitzkrieg style in which he won his many wars. Not a single building in these settlements was left intact.
However, what he did in 35 years he only had two years to begin to undo. All the settlements in the West Bank and on the Golan Heights still stand as monuments to the old Sharon. He is leaving us taking with him the answers to two great mysteries: why in the autumn of his life had he suddenly converted so radically; and what else was he going to do in the direction of peace and reconciliation?
One thing, however, Sharon never succeeded in doing, not even when he evacuated Gaza to the last inch. He never really sat down with the Palestinians to try to talk with them the way one neighbour speaks to the other neighbour. Not even the way one godfather sits down with another godfather after a long feud. Ariel Sharon is leaving us even as he is signalling to us - I understand my mistakes. I finally tried to mend them, but life was just too short.
Saturday, January 07, 2006
Amos Oz on Sharon's legacy:
Posted by Matt Duss at 10:19 AM