Former Israel prime minister Ariel Sharon gazes at the West Bank .
(photo credit: Reuters)
Israel’s indomitable lion Ariel Sharon, a bulldozer in war and peace, died on
Saturday, eight years after suffering a massive brain hemorrhage that left him
in a coma from which he never awoke.
Perhaps the most revered and often
reviled of the country’s politicians, perceived alternately as a peacemaker and
a warmonger, for decades his actions as a military commander and statesman
shaped both Israel’s self-perception and the world’s image of the Jewish
From the time he fought in Latrun as a young soldier to save
Jerusalem in 1948 to his orchestration as prime minister of the Gaza pullout in
August 2005, Sharon was at the center of the modern nation’s historical
And like the country he served for most of his 85 years, his
life was marked by controversy, deep loss, harsh defeat and miraculous
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