8 ways Ariel Sharon shook up the Middle East
After spending eight years in a coma, former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon passed away at the age of 85 this weekend and was buried at his Negev ranch on Monday. Continue reading below »
Sharon lampooned “the bulldozer” in honor of his affinity for settlements was a combative figure in life, perhaps more responsible than any other figure for deepening the divide between the Israelis and Palestinians. Since the inception of the Israeli state, he was involved with Jewish militias killing and clearing entire Palestinian villages of their occupants. The ruthless massacre of innocent refugees at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps - which Sharon facilitated - will go down as among the most horrific acts of genocide to be ever witnessed in history.
It is little wonder that in sharp contrast to say, the the passing of Nelson Mandela last month, not everyone has been saddened by Sharon’s death.
Jibril Rajub, a senior official of the Fatah party said, “Sharon was a criminal, responsible for the assassination of Arafat, and we would have hoped to see him appear before the International Criminal Court as a war criminal”.
Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, also voiced that she regretted that Sharon never faced justice for the crimes he committed when he was alive, particularly over his role in the Beirut camp killings.
“It’s a shame that Sharon has gone to his grave without facing justice for his role in Sabra and Shatila and other abuses,” she said in a statement.
Longtime Hebron resident and Kach activist Baruch Marzel - expelled from a settlement in Gaza - comments disparagingly on the legacy of Ariel Sharon, positing that "history will remember him as a traitor against his people".
By the majority of Israelis, Sharon is hailed as "Arik, the Commander", the embodiment of what it means to be an outstanding military leader.
No matter what you think of Sharon, butcher or champion of security, his life was singular in that his legacy and impact outlive his coma and indeed his death, continuing to affect the lives of millions of people across the Middle East. View this slideshow and find out eight different ways Sharon’s legacy will continue to play out in the region, even as Israel and Palestine hold peace talks in an attempt to end decades of conflict, war rages on in Syria and Iran comes to take on an increasingly dominant role in the region.
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- Madiba and the Middle East: Nelson Mandela's lasting legacy in Arabia
- Timeline: major events in the life of Ariel Sharon