Sharon commemorates David Ben-Gurion

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon implied parallels between his own leadership and that of Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, at a memorial in honor of the late founding father at his gravesite in Sde Boker in the Negev. Sharon praised Ben-Gurion's vision, which he claimed was intertwined with a cold analysis of reality. According to the prime minister, Ben-Gurion realized that at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict was a fundamental rejection of Israel's presence in the Middle East. Apparently comparing himself to the late leader, the prime minister noted Ben-Gurion's view that concessions must be made for the sake of the existence of the State of Israel. He quoted his predecessor as saying that we must choose the State over the ideology of retaining the complete Land of Israel. Sharon also praised the nation's founder leadership, quoting him as saying, "I don't know what the nation desires, I know what is desirable for the nation."