Archive | January 13th, 2014

Minister Attacks PA Official Who Called Nazi Sharon a ‘War Criminal’



Arutz Sheva

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz on Monday slammed Jabril Rajoub, a senior Palestinian Authority official, for calling the late Ariel Sharon a “war criminal.” If Sharon was a war criminal, said Katz, Rajoub was “a subhuman with blood on his hands.”

Rajoub made the comments Sunday in several interviews, including with Israeli media. In the interviews, he said that he regretted that Sharon had never been tried in international courts for what he termed his many “crimes” against Palestinians, and especially for what he claimed was an attempt on the life of arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat.

Speaking on his way to Monday morning’s memorial service for Sharon, Katz said “when I hear a subhuman like Jibril Rajoub, whose hands are awash in Jewish blood, celebrating the death of Ariel Sharon and calling him a murderer, and when I see the joy in the Arab street over his death, I say that we are all Sharon today.”

On Sunday, Arab MK Jamal Zahalka said that Sharon should be put on trial posthumously – to make an example out of him. Writing on his Facebook page, Zahalka said that “Sharon’s biological death reminds us that war criminals should be tried before international courts. If, as in Sharon’s case, this is no longer possible, he should be put on trial anyway, even if he is not present, and indicted for crimes against humanity. This should be done in order to strip Zionism naked and show the world its sins. Sharon was one of Zionism’s greatest spokespeople.”

Sharon’s “criminal” career, said Zahalka, stretches back to the 1950s, when he set up a special combat unit to deal with cross-border terror attacks from Jordan and Egypt, known as Unit 101.

“Sharon was responsible for many massacres, especially in Lebanon in 1002, and for the murder of Egyptian prisoners of war in 1967.” He was also responsible for the deaths of terrorists in Jenin, and for the elimination of top Hamas terrorist Ahmad Yassin.

Adding to the list of accusations, Zahalka also claimed Sharon was responsible for the death of Yasser Arafat. Despite numerous scientific studies concluding that the former PA chairman died of natural causes, conspiracy theories blaming an Israeli “assassination” for his death continue to be widely entertained in the Arab world.

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The truth about I$raHell war criminal Nazi Ariel Sharon that you won’t hear from Obama, Cameron or the BBC


Max Blumenthal 

An accused war criminal who presided over the killing of thousands of civilians, Sharon destroyed entire cities, wasted countless lives and sabotaged careers to shape the reality on the ground.


A central player in Israeli affairs since the state’s inception, Ariel Sharon molded history according to his own stark vision. He won consent for his plans through ruthlessness and guile, and resorted to force when he could not find any.

An accused war criminal who presided over the killing of thousands of civilians, his foes referred to him as “The Bulldozer.” To those who revered him as a strong-armed protector and patron saint of the settlements, he was “The King of Israel.” In a life acted out in three parts, Sharon destroyed entire cities, wasted countless lives and sabotaged careers to shape the reality on the ground.

The first act of Sharon’s career began after the 1948 war that established Israel at the expense of 750,000 Palestinians who were driven away in a campaign of mass expulsion. Badly wounded in the battle of Latrun, where the Israeli army suffered a bitter defeat at the hands of the Royal Jordanian Army, Sharon momentarily retired from army life. He looked back in anger at the failure to take Latrun, a strategic swath of land containing three Palestinian towns seemingly obstructing the new Jewish state’s demographic continuity. Spineless politicians and feckless commanders had tied the hands of Israel’s troops, he claimed, leaving the Jewish state exposed from within. Sharon yearned to finish 1948—to complete the expulsion project he viewed as deficient.

In 1953, Sharon was plucked out of retirement by Prime Minister David Ben Gurion and appointed the head of a secret commando unit tasked with carrying out brutal acts of reprisal and sabotage. Following a lethal Palestinian assault on an Israeli kibbutz, Sharon led his men into the West Bank town of Qibya with orders from Ben Gurion’s Central Command to “carry out destruction and cause maximum damage.” By the time they were done, sixty-nine civilians—mostly Palestinian women and children—lay dead.

In the years after that scandal, Sharon carried out bloody raids on Egyptian and Syrian territory that inflamed relations with Israel’s neighbors and led them to seek urgent military assistance from the Soviet Union.

In the 1956 Sinai Campaign, Sharon was accused by one of his commanders, Arye Biro, of overseeing the massacre of forty-nine Egyptian quarry workers who had been taken prisoner and had no role in the fighting (official censorship kept the details from the public for decades).

In the 1967 Six Day War, Sharon ran up the body count on encircled Egyptian tank units, converting unprecedented kill ratios into national fame. With the Gaza Strip now under Israeli control, Sharon orchestrated the razing of Palestinian citrus orchards to make way for Jewish colonization.

During the 1973 war, Sharon waged his own parallel war for personal glory. Determined to be the first Israeli commander to cross the Suez Canal, he sent his soldiers rushing into the teeth of the Egyptian army without sufficient artillery or air support. Scores of his men died in the blind thrust while entire brigades were left exposed. But Sharon salvaged his quest for fame when his tank brigades encircled the Egyptian Third Army. After the battle, photos of the general standing proudly in the Egyptian desert, bandaged from a superficial wound and surrounded by soldiers hailing him as “The King of Israel,” circulated in the Israeli and international media. The high-flying political career he had sought was now guaranteed. In short order, Sharon helped found the Likud Party, opening the second act of his storied career.

Though set on a rightward political trajectory, Sharon owed his fortunes to the icons of Labor Zionism. His original patron, Ben Gurion, and the younger warrior-politician Moshe Dayan, constantly shuffled him up the ranks of the military hierarchy, despite a clear pattern of scandalously insubordinate behavior. His first cabinet-level post was an abbreviated stint in the 1970s government of Yitzhak Rabin, the quintessential Laborite, who imagined Sharon leading a reorganization of the army following the disaster of the 1973 war. But it was in the Likud-led 1977 coalition of Menachem Begin that Sharon was finally able to translate his influence into history-altering policies.

Appointed minister of agriculture, Sharon exploited his seemingly insignificant position to bring the messianic project of Greater Israel to fruition. With unbridled vigor, he expanded the settlement enterprise across the West Bank, boasting that he personally established sixty-four settlements during his first four years in government. He revealed his strategy in a private chat with Winston Churchill’s grandson: “We’ll make a pastrami sandwich out of them. We’ll insert a strip of Jewish settlements in between the Palestinians, and then another strip of Jewish settlements right across the West Bank, so that in twenty-five years’ time, neither the United Nations nor the United States, nobody, will be able to tear it apart.”

Having established himself as the visionary behind the settlements, Sharon set his sights on the Ministry of Defense, actively intimidating Begin to fulfill his ambition. When Begin finally capitulated before Sharon’s bullying, he declared only half-jokingly that Sharon might have staged a military coup if he hadn’t been offered his desired sinecure.

Sharon entered the Defense Ministry consumed with dreams of an Israeli-friendly Christian puppet government in Beirut—the bulwark of a regional Israeli empire. Clamoring for an invasion of Lebanon, Sharon withheld his true intentions from everyone except perhaps Begin, claiming he merely aimed to drive the PLO out of southern Lebanon, where it had staged periodic raids on Israeli territory. When Begin green-lighted Operation Peace for Galilee in June 1982, Sharon sent Israeli tanks rumbling towards Beirut without the approval of the rest of the cabinet, whom Sharon had deliberately deceived. Many of them were outraged, but it was too late to turn back.

Against fierce Palestinian resistance, one of the Middle East’s most vital and cosmopolitan cities was laid to ruin. Sharon’s forces flattened West Beirut with indiscriminate shelling, leaving streets strewn with unburied corpses. With each passing day, disease and famine spread at epidemic levels. In August, the day after the Israeli cabinet accepted US special envoy Philip Habib’s proposal for the evacuation of the PLO, Sharon’s forces bombarded Beirut for seven hours straight, leaving 300 dead, most of them civilians. The Israeli sociologist Baruch Kimmerling wrote that the raid “resembled the attack on Dresden by the Allies toward the end of World War II.” Sharon even requested an additional paratrooper brigade to obliterate the PLO forces besieged in the city, earning a rare rebuke from Begin, who worried that his defense minister would completely destroy Habib’s efforts to resolve the crisis.

PLO forces withdrew from Lebanon, according to Habib’s guidelines, but the worst was yet to come. Sharon had stymied a proposal for the introduction of multinational peacekeepers capable of preventing reprisals against the defenseless Palestinian refugees who had been left behind. Thus the stage was set for the most heinous massacre of the war. Following the assassination of Bashir Gemayel, the Christian warlord who was supposed to serve as Sharon’s handpicked puppet president, Israeli forces helped usher Christian Phalangist militias into the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Shatila, then surrounded by the Israeli military, providing them with intelligence and operational support. Sharon and many of his officers were well aware of the Phalangists’ intention to murder as many women and children as they could. After days of slaughter, as many as 2,000 civilians were dead, with countless others raped and brutalized.

In February 1983, Israel’s Kahan Commission found Sharon “indirectly responsible” for the massacre, urging his dismissal as defense minister. With the Israeli body count was piling up in Lebanon, city squares in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem were thronged with outraged mothers and a growing movement of service refuseniks. The antiwar demonstrations shook the confidence of the army’s high command. At the prime minister’s office, Sharon berated Begin and his ministers, warning them, “If we adopt this [Kahan] report, all our ill-wishers and naysayers will that what happened in the camp was genocide.” Calling the findings “a mark of Cain on all of us for generations,” Sharon adamantly refused to step down.

During the meeting, a right-wing Jewish terrorist lobbed a live grenade into a crowd of antiwar protesters right outside the prime minister’s office, killing the teacher and antiwar activist Emil Grunzweig. The incident was Sharon’s coup de grâce, prompting his resignation. Though he remained in government as a minister without portfolio, his dreams of serving as prime minister appeared to be dashed.

Sharon’s fear of prosecution did not end with his resignation. In July 2001, a Belgian court opened an inquiry into the Sabra and Shatila massacre when a group of survivors filed a complaint under the country’s “universal jurisdiction” guidelines. Elie Hobeika, the Phalangist commander directly responsible for the killings, was assassinated months later, after informing Belgian politicians that he would testify against Sharon. “Israel doesn’t want witnesses against it in this historic case in Belgium which will certainly convict Ariel Sharon,” the Lebanese Minister of Displaced People Marwan Hamadeh remarked at the time, echoing widespread speculation about Sharon’s involvement. In September 2003, with Belgian relations with Israel at an all-time low, the Belgian court threw out the case, citing Sharon’s diplomatic immunity.

By this time, Sharon had resuscitated his political career in dramatic fashion. On September 28, 2000, following the collapse of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority at Camp David that summer, Sharon toured the Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem, site of the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, accompanied by 1,000 armed police and security agents. It was a provocative stunt, staged to inflame rising tensions in the occupied territories. As expected, the appearance sparked widespread Palestinian rioting the next day, which was met with a draconian Israeli crackdown—Israeli forces fired 1.3 million bullets at mostly unarmed demonstrators in October 2000 alone—fueling what became known as the Al Aqsa Intifada. The following year Sharon was elected prime minister and Palestinian suicide bombings were battering the cafes and nightclubs of Tel Aviv and West Jerusalem. Channeling the mood of Israel’s “peace camp,” which had called for Sharon’s ouster during the invasion of Lebanon, the liberal newspaper Haaretz demanded “a war about the morning’s coffee and croissant.”

The beleaguered peace camp was shocked at the intifada, but also cynically misled by Sharon’s predecessor as prime minister, Ehud Barak, who declared after the collapse of the Camp David negotiations that there was “no Palestinian partner” for peace. Sapped of confidence, they became quiescent while the mainstream united behind Sharon, their vengeful protector. With a free hand to deploy tanks and combat jets against Palestinian population centers, Sharon oversaw a campaign of carefully calculated brutality, culminating, in 2002, in the comprehensive demolition of the Jenin refugee camp. Baruch Kimmerling termed Sharon’s strategy “politicide,” a “gradual but systematic attempt to cause [Palestine’s] annihilation as an independent political and social entity.” As in the beginning, Sharon’s unspoken goal was to finish the war of 1948.

While Israeli bulldozers trundled across Gaza and the West Bank, Sharon announced his intention to “make separation across the land.” Though initially resistant to the idea, he resolved to fulfill a plan first introduced in the 1990’s under Yitzhak Rabin: the construction of a vast wall that would drive a nail into the coffin of the Palestinian national movement. Cutting into the West Bank and Jordan Valley, the wall would effectively annex 80 percent of settlements into Israel proper, consolidating the country’s Jewish demographic majority while relegating Palestinians to a permanent regime of ghettoized exclusion.

Next, Sharon planned to pull Israeli settlers from the Gaza Strip, setting the stage for a high-tech siege of that occupied coastal territory. Unlike in the past, Sharon sold his plans to the public with carefully calibrated, subtle rhetorical touches. Stunned by a new movement of mass refusal—a group of former and active Israeli air force pilots had issued a letter declaring their refusal to participate in operations in occupied territory—and by the furious opposition of the settlement movement to his plan, Sharon uncharacteristically proclaimed that the occupation was a “bad thing for Israel.” Next, he bolted from Likud, cobbling together a random assortment of politicians including his former aide, the telegenic, PR-friendly Tzipi Livni, to drive the separation plan forward under the banner of Kadima.

Sharon’s maneuvers earned him the political space he needed to fulfill his goals. Haaretz, the voice of Israeli liberalism, supported the vast separation wall as a “revolutionary” step towards two states. Endorsing the withdrawal of settlers from Gaza, The New York Times editorial board declared that Sharon “should be cheered.” Back in Tel Aviv, the anti-settlement group Peace Now and the Labor Party organized a mass demonstration in support of the Gaza disengagement plan. Winning liberals to his side was Sharon’s final political coup, and probably his most consequential.

The true goal of Sharon’s separation regime was never to end the occupation but to reinforce it under new parameters that would prevent the collapse of Israel’s international image. A top aide to Sharon, Dov Weissglass, revealedthe real logic behind Sharon’s plans: “The disengagement [from Gaza] is actually formaldehyde. It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians.” Another close adviser, Arnon Sofer, was even more frank:

…when 2.5 million people live in a closed-off Gaza, it’s going to be a human catastrophe. Those people will become even bigger animals than they are today, with the aid of an insane fundamentalist Islam. The pressure at the border will be awful. It’s going to be a terrible war. So, if we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day.

Eight years after Sharon slipped into a coma, the real implications of separation stand exposed. Gaza suffers under a joint Israeli-Egyptian siege, while Israel shrugs off any responsibility for its inhabitants. Though Israel controls the entrances, exits, airspace and coast of Gaza, and effectivelyregulates the caloric intake of each resident of the coastal territory, the occupation is over as far as its government is concerned. Israeli settlements are firmly entrenched in the West Bank and encircle East Jerusalem, reducing Palestinian areas to the “pastrami sandwich” of non-contiguous bantustans that Sharon had originally envisioned. With the peace process effectively embalmed in political “formaldehyde,” right-wing elements have achieved unfettered dominance over the Jewish state’s key institutions. Typical of the new generation of Israeli rightists is Sharon’s corruption-stained son, Gilad, who has called Palestinian society a “predator,” an “animal” and “stabbers of babies.”

Now that Sharon’s unilateral vision appears to have been consolidated, Israel’s government must perpetually manage an occupation it has no intention of ending. It has no clear strategy to achieve international legitimacy and no endgame. Its direct line to Washington has become a life-support system for the status quo. Like Sharon, who spent his last years in a comatose state without any hope of regaining consciousness, Israel is only buying time.

Source: The Nation

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Palestine pre-1948, before Zionism/I$raHell


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Sabra-Shatila residents rejoice over Nazi Sharon’s death


Palestinian refugees living in the the Shatila refugee camp in the Lebanese capital Beirut, walk under a banner of the late president Yasser Arafat on January 11, 2014. (Photo: AFP – Anwar Amro)

Published Saturday, January 11, 2014

Abu Jamal still remembers when Lebanese militiamen allied to Israel woke him and his family early one September morning more than three decades ago and dragged them out into the street.

The gunmen forced him and other Palestinian refugees in the Sabra and Shatila camps to line up, separated the men and women, and dragged young men from the line to be killed. Abu Jamal’s son, 19 at the time, was among those they chose.

“He was in his last year of school,” said Abu Jamal, who wears a button with his son’s picture on his sweater and asked that his full name not be used. “He never saw his diploma.”

Israeli troops did not intervene during the bloodshed, which went down as one of the worst atrocities of Lebanon’s 1975-90 civil war. Ariel Sharon, who died on Saturday, was defense minister at the time and many Palestinians in Sabra and Shatila still blame him for the killings.

Over three days, beginning on September 16, 1982, around 2,000 men, women and children were massacred in Sabra and Shatila on the southern outskirts of Beirut.

Some 500 more simply vanished without a trace.

Israel had invaded Lebanon three months before, and the brutal killings, the work of Israel’s Lebanese Phalangist allies, were carried out as Israeli troops surrounded the camps.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, survivors showed little sympathy when they heard of the Israeli commander-cum-politician’s passing after eight years in a coma.

Sitting in her home down the street from where a memorial stands at the site of a mass grave, 70-year-old Milany Boutrous Alha Bourje recalled how her husband and son were shot dead that day. Sharon, she said, deserved far worse than he got.

“May God send him deep into the earth,” she said, black and white photos of her slain family decorated with red artificial roses leaning against the wall beside her.

“I wish he had suffered as we’ve suffered. Thirty-two years we’ve been suffering. He was in his state for eight years, but I wished he’d suffered for another 10.”

Bourje, who appears in an iconic photograph of the 1982 massacre crying out and waving her arms near a row of bodies, said she was no more optimistic about the future now Sharon was dead.

“Nothing changes,” she said. “The situation we are living in does not change.”

A 1983 Israeli inquiry found Sharon bore “personal responsibility” for not preventing the bloodshed, pushing him to resign as defense minister. But less than two decades later he rose to lead his Likud party and was elected prime minister.

“You want to know how I feel? I want to sing and play music, that is how,” said Umm Ali, a 65-year-old woman clad in black whose brother Mohammed was killed in the massacre.

“I would have liked so much to stab him to death. He would have suffered more,” she said of Sharon, as she walked slowly, linking arms with a young relative.

Shopkeeper Mirvat al-Amine said Sharon should have been put on trial but is confident that he will meet divine justice.

“Of course I am happy that he is dead. I would have liked to see him go on trial before the entire world for his crimes but there is divine justice and he cannot escape that.

“The tribunal of God is more severe than any court down here,” she said.

Outside the shop Magida, aged 40, says she is still haunted by memories of the massacre.

She and her family had fled Shatila just before the killings after sensing that something was not right, she said.
They sought shelter in an adjacent park and waited.

“A neighbor joined us, her dress was covered in blood. She told us that people were being massacred in the streets,” said Magida.

“At first we could not believe it but later we began hearing screams, we heard people begging their assassins to spare them.”

Palestinian refugees live in dire conditions in Lebanon, where many are packed into overcrowded, impoverished “camps” which are really more like urban slums of concrete buildings, pot-holed roads and tangled wire.

Sabra and Shatila in Beirut are crowded neighborhoods of narrow alleys where pictures of Yasser Arafat, Mahmoud Abbas and young men killed in conflicts with Israel cover many walls.

Standing near a sign at the memorial reading “We will not forget,” Youssef Hamzeh, born the year before Israel’s 1948 colonization of Palestine, echoed others in the camps when he said Sharon should have been put on trial over the killings.

“As a witness to this person and from what I suffered from this person, I say to hell with Sharon and to Sharon’s supporters in the Israeli leadership … who still commit massacres,” he said.

“It’s not enough that Sharon died.”

When Adnan al-Moqdad heard the news about Sharon, he went to the cemetery in Sabra to pray for the soul of his mother and father, killed in the massacre.

The Moqdads were Lebanese but like many impoverished families had their home in the sprawling camps.

“How can anyone forget the massacre,” he asked “Sharon is responsible. God is Great and he made him suffer to the end of his days and he will make his suffer after his death.”

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I$raHell mourns Nazi Sharon’s passing; Naziyahu: He was a ‘brave warrior’




Former prime minister Ariel Sharon died on Saturday at Sheba Medical Center, his son Gilad Sharon said at a press conference outside the hospital. “He passed when he decided it was time to go,” said Gilad Sharon said about his father, adding, “We are grateful to all the many people in Israel and around the world who worried and prayed for him.”

Sharon’s death was officially announced by hospital director Prof. Shlomo Noy at 3 P.M. after what he described as a peaceful passing, following a stubborn week-long struggle for life. The official time of Sharon’s death was declared at 2 P.M, Noy said. The former prime minister died surrounded by his family, he added.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed deep sorrow after he heard the news. “The State of Israel lowers its head following the departure of Ariel Sharon,” he said. “He played a major part in the struggle for the country’s security throughout all of its years. He was first and foremost a brave warrior and a great general, one of the greatest commanders the IDF has seen.

“As a youth he reported for duty on the battlefield on behalf of the people of Israel. He did so as a soldier in the War of Independence, and as a commander in the Sinai Campaign, the Six Day War and up to the Yom Kippur War. In between, he founded Unit 101 and promoted the concept of taking the initiative and payback in the war against terror that became part and parcel of Israeli policy. When he stepped out of uniform he continued to serve the people of Israel in the many posts he served in Israeli governments and, of course, as Israel’s 11th prime minister. His memory will be kept forever in the nation’s heart.”

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who was Sharon’s political partner for many years, eulogized him as well. “They say that old soldiers never really die, they fade away,” she said. “Arik faded away eight years ago, and now has finally left us. Even when he was prime minister he was a brave warrior, commander, leader and farmer whose feet were deeply planted in the soil of the land of Israel,” Livni said, adding, “In that large body of his beat a Jewish soul that cared for the Jewish people around the world. He became the large father of a large nation. A father that gave his son a sense of security. And more than anything, Arik was a man that I loved. We were separated for eight years, and we never really got to part ways. Now we part.”

“Ariel Sharon’s life path is intertwined with the history of the State of Israel and his presence at key intersections in its existence are recorded in its history,” said Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. “A man of the soil and a son of this land who dedicated his life to it with great abandon more than once. Although some fundamental difference in opinion broke out between us along the way, I always valued his experience and leadership.”

According to Noy, Sharon retained a minimal level of consciousness for a long period up to his death, responding to stimuli. “I believe that he was at least partially conscious of his condition,” said Noy. He added that the former prime minister’s hanging onto life for nine days since he was determined to be in critical condition was a bit more than would be expected for a man of his age and condition and displayed his tough resolve.

Former prime minister Ehud Olmert, who replaced Sharon as prime minister after the latter’s second stroke left him incapacitated, said of him, “Ariel Sharon will be remembered as a great leader. He stood at the front of the firing line where Israel’s fate was determined all his life. Arik’s life was fascinating, exceptional, unique, soaked with bravery, human warmth, vision, and leadership at the critical moments when Israel needed these traits. In the eight years since his collapse, there was something missing for Israel and for me personally and his absence will continue to be felt into the future.”

“Ariel Sharon will be remembered as a great leader,”said Knesset opposition leader and Labor MK Isaac Herzog. “For many years we were in opposing camps, but it’s impossible not to appreciate a man who could change his worldview and recognize the correct path for the State of Israel. In the previous decade, I was a housing minister in his government. I saw a self-confident, level-headed and unflappable prime minister who wasn’t afraid to make decisions even those against the current. My sincere condolences to Omri and Gilad, their endless devotion to their father should be commended,” Herzog said.

“Ariel Sharon was one of the State of Israel’s prominent leaders,” said Finance Minister Yair Lapid. “A brave soldier and commander on the field of battle and a fearless leader on the field of politics, as well as a personal friend.”

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We’ll never forgive Nazi Sharon for the disengagement


Israel Hayom

Former residents of Gush Katif and towns in northern Samaria that were evacuated in the summer of 2005 met the passing of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon with mixed emotions. The man who was once considered the father of the settlement enterprise, but who orchestrated the disengagement in 2005, will forever remain in their minds wholly responsible for expelling them from their homes.

“Against all of his virtues, that’s the measure he took — which was unclear, illogically conceived, which brought us to the reality where rockets are falling on Rishon Lezion and Gedera and more than a million Israelis are living under a constant threat — which I will always remember, not the other things he’s done,” said Lior Calpa, who lived in the Gaza Strip settlement of Neve Dekalim and was elected chairman of the Gush Katif Residents Committee after the Disengagement.

“Every day that I go to work and come home in the evening, I see the families in Nitzan. I know so many stories from every caravan and every family that has yet to see the horizon,” he said. “This is my last memory of Sharon. I don’t respect people whose opinion before the election is one way and then changes 180 degrees.”

Dror Vanunu, a former Gush Katif spokesman, said he felt grief over the passing of a man whose life had been intertwined with Israeli history.

“Sharon led Israel to great achievements on the battlefield and other important areas, and brought about great development in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip; that’s something that cannot be taken from him. Still, it’s hard to ignore the fact that, alongside all of his great achievements throughout his time, his last act was actually unsuccessful. On the contrary, it was a failure from all angles. Today, because of the evacuation, the fate of Tel Aviv is the fate of Netzarim. What he did in the disengagement redefined his character,” said Vanunu.

Vanunu said he regretted the apparent vindication among some right-wing individuals celebrating Sharon’s death.

“We, the people of Gush Katif, aren’t with them. Despite the profound disagreements, things were carried out on a practical level,” he said.

For Yossi Dagan, who was removed from his home in the northern Samarian settlement of Sa-Nur during the disengagement, and who know serves as deputy chairman of the Samaria Regional Council, Sharon’s passing raises difficult memories.

“Everything pops up again on a day like this. All of the trauma of the expulsion, all the terrible images of people being dragged from their homes on the earth. On the one hand, Sharon has ample virtues, but on the other hand his betrayal of the public, which admired him for so many years, turning against their values, maybe just to save himself from prosecution — it all makes for mixed feelings.”

Dagan also leveled criticism against the media for what he said was skewed coverage of the Sharon legacy.

“Every media outlet that chased him down in the past embraced him over the last few days. Former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, blessed be his memory, didn’t manage to get such coverage when he passed away. In my opinion, it’s just because of the disengagement,” he said.

Condemning certain joyful expressions following Sharon’s death, Dagan said, “When a Jew passes away, you should not show happiness. On the one hand, it’s incorrect to ignore the terrible things he did and on the other hand it’s forbidden to ignore the positive things he accomplished. We must respect his memory and recall both the bad and the good.”

Avi Perhan, who was displaced twice from his home, the first time from Yamit in the Sinai Peninsula after the peace deal with Egypt, and the second time from Alei Sinai in the Gush Katif bloc, said: “I find myself with mixed emotions over everything related to Arik Sharon. I will always remember him as a hero of Israel, as a man of the public who did the most he could for the settlements, but on the flip side, he was a man who led us to the calamitous disengagement, which displaced hundreds of families from their homes and to this very day they still have yet to find repose or property.

“There will be a lot of people who will never forget the disengagement, and it will haunt them their entire lives. On this great day, I prefer to put aside all the arguments, the individual and family pain I suffered because of the disengagement.”

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Jewish Federation of North America–Nazi Sharon Leader of ‘Entire Jewish World’



Arutz Sheva

The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) added their voices to the outpouring of those mourning the death offormer Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who passed awaySaturday at the age of 85. Sharon had been in a coma since 2006.

In a joint statement by JFNA Board of Trustees Chair Michael Siegal and JFNA President and CEO Jerry Silverman, the two called Sharon “a great Israeli leader.”

“Ariel Sharon was a highly regarded military leader, but he was also a peacemaker,” read the statement. “One of the country’s most daring and celebrated generals, he was also a man who was able to take bold steps in the hopes of achieving peace. “

In 2005 Sharon broke away from the Likud and founded Kadima to force through his “Disengagement” plan, whereby all Jewish residents of Gaza and northern Samaria (Shomron) were expelled. The move, which allowed Hamas to take control of Gaza and turn it into a constant terror launching pad against Israel, has led to criticism of Sharon’s legacy.

“Sharon worked his entire life for the unity of the Jewish People,” said the JFNA. “He was closely connected with Jewish communities around the world, and acutely aware of their needs and aspirations. …He was a regular speaker at Jewish Federation events and is warmly remembered for welcoming countless Federation groups to his private home in the Negev.”

“Today it is not only the State of Israel that has lost one of its most celebrated figures, but the Jewish people as a whole,” claimed the statement. “Sharon was not just the prime minister of the Jewish state, but a determined and inspirational leader of the entire Jewish world.”

The JFNA announced it would send a delegation to Sharon’s funeral. His coffin is set for display at the Knesset on Sunday, for memorial services that an American delegation led by US Vice President Joe Biden is expected to attend.

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Nazi Sharon’s Last Public Words: ‘I am a Jew, First of All’



Arutz Sheva

Ariel Sharon met with participants of MASA, a program that brings young Jews to Israel from other countries, in what MASA says was his last public appearance, on January 1, 2006.

Videotape of the encounter, which took place during the Hanukkah holiday, shows an alert and smiling Sharon, speaking from the depth of his heart to youths about the national values that he believed in.

“Israel is the only place in the world where Jews have the right and the power to defend themselves, by themselves,” Sharon told his guests. “And as a Jew – and I am first of all a Jew, and that is the most important thing for me – I know that it is not only the only place in the world where we have the right and the power to defend ourselves by ourselves; it’s also our duty.”

“I think that each of us is responsible for the future of the Jewish people,” he added. “Our people has existed for about 4,000 years now. And I worry about what will happen in 30 years’ time, in 300 years’ time, and with G-d’s help, in 3,000 years’ time. And I don’t see it as my personal responsibility, but it is the responsibility of  each of you. That’s what you have to feel. And that’s what we owe to our fathers and forefathers, in order to be able to ensure that the Jewish people will exist.”

Three days after the meeting with MASA, on January 4, 2006, Sharon suffered a massive stroke and he went into a coma, from which he never recovered.

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Nazi Ariel Sharon: Peacemaker, hero… and butcher


He was respected in his eight years of near-death, with no sacrilegious cartoons to damage his reputation; and he will, be assured, receive the funeral of a hero and a peacemaker. Thus do we remake history.


Any other Middle Eastern leader who survived eight years in a coma would have been the butt of every cartoonist in the world. Hafez el-Assad would have appeared in his death bed, ordering his son to commit massacres; Khomeini would have been pictured demanding more executions as his life was endlessly prolonged. But of Sharon – the butcher of Sabra and Shatila for almost every Palestinian – there has been an almost sacred silence.

Cursed in life as a killer by quite a few Israeli soldiers as well as by the Arab world – which has proved pretty efficient at slaughtering its own people these past few years – Sharon was respected in his eight years of near-death, no sacrilegious cartoons to damage his reputation; and he will, be assured, receive the funeral of a hero and a peacemaker.

Thus do we remake history. How speedily did toady journalists in Washington and New York patch up this brutal man’s image. After sending his army’s pet Lebanese militia into the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in 1982, where they massacred up to 1,700 Palestinians, Israel’s own official enquiry announced that Sharon bore “personal” responsibility for the bloodbath.

He it was who had led Israel’s catastrophic invasion of Lebanon three months earlier, lying to his own prime minister that his forces would advance only a few miles across the frontier, then laying siege to Beirut – at a cost of around 17,000 lives. But by slowly re-ascending Israel’s dangerous political ladder, he emerged as prime minister, clearing Jewish settlements out of the Gaza Strip and thus, in the words of his own spokesman, putting any hope of a Palestinian state into “formaldehyde”.

By the time of his political and mental death in 2006, Sharon – with the help of the 2001 crimes against humanity in the US and his successful but mendacious claim that Arafat backed bin Laden – had become, of all things, a peacemaker, while Arafat, who made more concessions to Israeli demands than any other Palestinian leader, was portrayed as a super-terrorist. The world forgot that Sharon had opposed the 1979 peace treaty with Egypt, voted against a withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 1985, opposed Israel’s participation in the 1991 Madrid peace conference – and the Knesset plenum vote on the Oslo agreement in 1993, abstained on a vote for a peace with Jordan the next year and voted against the Hebron agreement in 1997. Sharon condemned the manner of Israel’s 2000 retreat from Lebanon and by 2002 had built 34 new illegal Jewish colonies on Arab land.

Quite a peacemaker! When an Israeli pilot bombed an apartment block in Gaza, killing nine small children as well as his Hamas target, Sharon described the “operation” as “a great success”, and the Americans were silent. For he bamboozled his Western allies into the insane notion that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was part of Bush’s monstrous battle against “world terror”, that Arafat was himself a bin Laden, and that the world’s last colonial war was part of the cosmic clash of religious extremism.

The final, ghastly – in other circumstances, hilarious – political response to Sharon’s behaviour was George W Bush’s contention that Ariel Sharon was “a man of peace”. When he became prime minister, media profiles noted not Sharon’s cruelty but his “pragmatism”, recalling, over and over, that he was known as “the bulldozer”.

And, of course, real bulldozers will go on clearing Arab land for Jewish colonies for years after Sharon’s death, thus ensuring there will never – ever – be a Palestinian state.

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Was Nazi Ariel Sharon cursed?


Previous to Sharon’s stroke on January 4, 2006, he was the target of various kabbalisti-c curses and holy warnings.

ed note–what kind of insane people are these? What is the substantive difference between this and sticking pins in voodoo dolls?

Notice as well, what ‘sins’ he committed that supposedly led to this punishment–Murdering as many as 8,000 innocent people at Sabra and Shatilla? All the other genocides he has committed?

No. his ‘crime’ was forcing the Jews out of Gaza.



Ariel Sharon was dead for less than four hours on Saturday when Shabbat ended and the religious social network began buzzing with omens. One of the most popular celestial theories making the rounds was the Hebrew date on which the former prime minister had returned his soul to his maker – the tenth of Shvat 5774. Scrabbling to find its meaning, they quickly came up with one – it was exactly ten years to the day that Sharon had first disclosed his plan to “disengage” from Gaza, over a lavish breakfast in the prime minister’s residence with Haaretz’s Yoel Marcus

This was just the most recent in a long ritual of tzidduk ha-din, justifying the verdict, explaining how Sharon’s bizarre medical condition was a direct result of his grievous sin – expelling 8,000 Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria and destroying their homes.

This hasn’t been just an exercise in reverse soothsaying. Previous to Sharon’s stroke on January 4, 2006, he was the target of various kabbalistic curses and holy warnings. Perhaps the most poignant of which came in Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s regular Saturday night sermon at the Yazdim Synagogue in Jerusalem, on the eve of the disengagement. 

Shas’ spiritual leader had been under pressure for weeks to join the coalition and give some much-needed religious support to the controversial move, including personal entreaties from Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and his old friend Shimon Peres. But he was not having any of it. He ripped into Sharon, saying in his televised address: “He (God) will give him one banna (slang for ‘hit on the head’), he (Sharon) will die, sleep and not arise. He is cruel to the people of Israel, what did those poor people (settlers) do? There are yeshivas there (in the Gush Katif settlements) and Torah study.” At the time, recalls former Shas spokesman Itzik Sudri, the party was mainly concerned that the rabbi’s words would not be interpreted as actual incitement to harm the prime minister. Only seventeen months later, when Sharon slipped into his long coma, did some people begin to wonder whether Rabbi Yosef had played a part in it.

Sudri insists the late rabbi had no such intention. “It was part of his colloquial folksy style of speaking,” he says. “It reflected his growing frustration at Sharon who he felt had become prime minister thanks to Shas, and then left us out of the coalition, cut the yeshivas’ budget and on top off all of that the disengagement. But he never actually meant any harm to Sharon. After the stroke he blessed him with a long life. Of course there are those who believe that the Rabbi’s curse was fulfilled but I won’t do God’s accounting for him.”

Religious Jews who believe that nothing in this world happens without a reason from above are divided. There are those who, like Itzik Sudri, will not directly connect between God’s actions, at least not in public. And there are those who feel free to pin every earthquake, genocide and road accident – including the Holocaust – on a specific earthly sin (Rabbi Yosef frequently did this in his sermons).

This thinking was certainly evident in what MK Orit Strock (Habayit Hayehudi) wrote on her Facebook page praising God that “Sharon was taken from public life before succeeding in wreaking the same disaster on residents of Judea and Samaria as he did on settlers in Gush Katif and the Gaza border communities.” Strock’s praise for the lord, in no way unrepresentative of the thoughts of many in the religious-settler camp, caused a backlash and a rare public condemnation from her own party leader, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett. She was forced to publish a partial retraction saying that she had not prayed for Sharon’s death and that she did “not manage God’s checkbook,” though this was obviously what she had been doing in her original post.

And of course there are those not content with just taking notes, who seek to intervene in the divine decision-making process. In July 2005, a group of far-right activists carried out a pulsa de’nura (Aramaic for “bolt of fire”) rite in a cemetery on Sharon. Masquerading as a kabbalist ceremony, the pulsa de’nura is actually a modern mishmash of ancient texts originally conceived in the early 20th Century by Haredi politicians in Jerusalem to threaten rivals accused of heresy.

The “ceremony” which resembles voodoo practice more than any Jewish ritual, involves ten men calling upon the “angels of destruction” to kill a man who has desecrated sacred Jewish values. Over the years it was used (or claimed to have been used after various figures met untimely deaths) against politicians and journalists who angered the ultra-Orthodox, and architects and archaeologists who were accused of having disturbed ancient graves. In the 1990s, it became the preserve of the most extreme fringe of the settler camp when the kabbalist texts were uttered against Yitzhak Rabin, for the sin of signing the Oslo Accords with the Palestine Liberation Organization. Some believers were quick to connect this with Rabin’s assassination a month later, while others accused those who participated in the curse of contributing to the incitement that drove Yigal Amir.

Whatever the effect, as Florida International University’s Professor Zion Zohar – who researched the pulsa de’nura – wrote, it is a totally made-up rite which is directed today more at the media than the heavens. Its efficacy is unclear – a pulsa was carried out in July 2005 against Sharon but he continued functioning for six months – leading the disengagement from Gaza. A year later, his successor, Ehud Olmert was the subject of another one and he is still alive and running 10 kilometers each morning. There are rumors that pulsas were held also for Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah who continues to survive in his Beirut bunker. And you can bet that the bearded men will gather again among the gravestones to curse Benjamin Netanyahu if he dares sign a peace agreement with the Palestinians. But that should be the least of his worries.  

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