Wednesday, January 15, 2014


The ZF joins Israel in commemorating the memory of Ariel Sharon, her former Prime Minister, who passed away this weekend at the age of 85. Described by Ben Gurion as ‘the greatest field commander,’ nicknamed in the Knesset as ‘the bulldozer,’ and perhaps best defined by the title of his autobiography, ‘Warrior,’ Sharon was an indomitable force both on and off the battlefield. Born in the yishuv of Mandate-era Palestine in 1928, the chronology of his achievements is in many ways the history of Israel and the defence of the Jewish national home.

From engineering Israel’s lightning victory in the Six Day War, to turning the tide during the Yom Kippur War, to overseeing the security measures against the Second Intifada, Sharon earned a reputation as a bold and brilliant strategic mind, willing to make tough decisions when the fledgling country could not afford the luxury of failure. His time as a politician was no less noteworthy, with his unilateral disengagement from Gaza showcasing his ability to pursue a resolution to conflict, even in the absence of a viable peace partner.

Paul Charney, ZF Chairman:

“All Israelis and Zionists owe Ariel Sharon a huge debt. The history of his life is an effective reminder that the struggle for Zionism - a national home for the Jewish people - was not completed in 1948 with the establishment of the state of Israel. Instead, it required the ingenuity of military leaders like Sharon, as well as the staunch courage and commitment of Israelis soldiers, to defend the state from the threats ranged against her, from massed Arab armies on her borders, to Palestinian terrorists targeting her civilians. While both his military and political careers aroused controversy and prompted criticism from the left and right of the political spectrum, the legacy of Ariel Sharon will remain his single-minded yet pragmatic commitment to the survival of Israel.”