Sharon the man

A month after his death, Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar, who served as cabinet secretary in Ariel Sharon’s government, helps offer insights into often overlooked aspects of the late prime minister’s character.

February 6, 2014 13:21
Ariel Sharon at the Knesset

Ariel Sharon. (photo credit: GPO)


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In February 2001, Ariel Sharon prevailed over Ehud Barak and was elected prime minister of Israel. Sharon won 62 percent of the vote and crushed Barak by an unprecedented margin. A man who just a few years earlier clearly had no chance of winning any spot had been elected prime minister. In the weeks leading up to the elections, Sharon set his goals and appointed three talented individuals to help him build a “100-day plan”: Tzachi Hanegbi, Gideon Sa’ar and Moshe Lion.

The common denominator of the three was clear: They all identified with Binyamin Netanyahu. Hanegbi was one of Netanyahu’s closest allies; Lion was a former director general in the Prime Minister’s Office; and Sa’ar was Netanyahu’s cabinet secretary. No other politician would have formed such a team for such a sensitive mission, but Sharon had the necessary confidence. It’s not that he wasn’t suspicious – being suspicious was second nature to him – but he decided who he could trust and how to grant them leeway to act as they thought proper.


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