Very few public figures, I am sure, get to be eulogized twice, fewer make top headlines on both occasions. Ariel Sharon’s unfortunate fate – a stroke that left him in a coma eight years ago, and finally, his demise today won him this honor, almost as if he has died twice.
Perhaps then it is only fitting that non of his mourners failed to mention Sharon also lived twice – one life for the ruthless warrior, the “mega settler”, the solider who marched an army deep into Lebanon without his Prime Minister’s approval; and one for the level headed Prime Minister who saw into the future and realized Israel’s benefit demands that he realigns his priorities and lets go of the ‘old Sharon’ in favor of a negotiator, perhaps even a peace maker.
This ‘second’ life does not pardon the ‘first’, not will it annul the pain and suffering of those effected by Sharon’s misguided strategies and disregard for human lives. But the situation in the Middle East still demands that leaders put aside their personal history and political agendas, and join in an effort to make a better future for their people.
Unfortunately for us, we have no time to wait for the ‘right’ leaders, so let Sharon’s memory guide Israelis and Palestinians alike in doing the right thing.
You can find my own obituary of Sharon in the NYT’s OpEd pages:
Image Credits: Ruth Gwily, NY Times