By Eric Golub
WASHINGTON, January 17, 2014 — The world lost a giant with the passing of Ariel “The Bulldozer” Sharon at age 85 after a lengthy illness. Sharon was at the peak of his power in 2006 when he suffered a massive stroke that left him in a coma. Now he is with Menachem Begin, Yitzchak Shamir and the rest of the great world leaders who put principles above popularity.
A man is not only judged by the company he keeps, but by his critics. Like his friend George W. Bush, Sharon was vilified for existing and breathing air. He belonged to the most hated groups of people in the history of civilization.
He was a political conservative, earning him every bit of enmity from the world’s morally bankrupt leftist intelligentsia.
He was a military hero, a warrior to the core. This brought him the hatred of those who believe surrender equates to true peace. He was not interested in being loved. He was feared by his enemies and respected by some of the toughest world leaders alive, from Bush to Vladimir Putin. They both consulted Sharon on how to handle terrorists.
Sharon was a Jew, constantly barraged with hatred from many of the world’s Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular. Anti-Semites loathed him for refusing to apologize for being a Hebrew.
Being a Jew was bad enough, but what really irked many people was his being Jewish and having the nerve to be proud of it. He was not a self-loathing apologist Jew. He was a tough Jew in a world that likes their Jews obedient, subservient, sniveling, groveling and begging to be liked. His insistence on standing strong while Jewish had the odd effect of uniting Palestinians and politically liberal Jews against him.
The Palestinians wanted him dead for his steadfast refusal to allow his own people of Israel to engage in cultural and ethnic suicide and national self-immolation. Politically liberal Jews hated him for being a member of Likud, Israel’s conservative party.
Palestinians and liberal Jews never accepted him. Like the best world leaders, he refused to care about the opinions of people who did not matter. His job was to protect the Israeli people. He was not interested in hearing the point of view of Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists angry over his refusal to let them murder him. He was also uninterested in wealthy Jews on golf courses in Boca Raton or Upper Westside of Manhattan socialites lecturing him on the nation he fought and bled for. What Americans call 9/11, Israelis call “Tuesday,” “Wednesday,” “Thursday,” and four other variations.
He had no use for dialogue with people who had nothing valuable to say. He never apologized to the professional apologists. He was not a professional academic, but he was certainly a smarter military and political strategist than his critics.
From a military standpoint, he understood the two-word truism that most peaceniks never grasp: Force works. The way to spread peace is to win a war with such overwhelming force that the enemy never wants to wage war again. Had his political superiors listened to General Ariel Sharon, Damascus would have been crushed in 1982 and the world would have been spared the last three decades of Assad Syria butchers.
Politically, Sharon was brilliant. He angered his own supporters on the right when he offered to unilaterally pull all Jews out of the Gaza Strip. On the surface, this strategy made no sense. Palestinians would still hate him for being Jewish and liberal Jews would still hate him for being conservative. The tactic seemed to have only a downside.
Once again, Sharon played chess in a world of those playing checkers. 7,500 Jews were surrounded by 1.5 million Palestinians. By removing all Jews from the area, he was prepared to show the world what he knew would prove true. Palestinians would be unable to govern, and would soon turn their bloodlust inward. With no Jews around, they would kill each other and perpetuate their own misery. If by some miracle they stopped acting like themselves, peace would happen. So he won either way. The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity, and their fratricidal genocide in Gaza allowed Sharon to expand West Bank settlements.
He even co-opted his main conservative rival. Current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu has continued Sharon’s strategy of expanding settlements knowing that the status quo is better than unilateral surrender.
Sharon also knew what Netanyahu now knows. American attempts to bully and weaken Israel would weaken America’s influence. Sharon knew how to communicate to world leaders capable of learning. In 1998, he took Texas Governor George W. Bush on a tour of the land of Milk and Honey. From inside the helicopter, a stunned Bush exclaimed, “They’ve got driveways bigger than this in Texas.”
That one remark showed Bush to be a man capable of understanding what Palestinians, liberal Jews and other Sharon haters never figured out. Arabs and Muslims owned 99% of the Middle East. They did not need the other 1%. They had millions of miles of territory. They did not need another seven miles (the shortest strip in Israel from coast to coast). Palestinians are Arabs, and 22 Arab states already exist. There was no need for a 23rd one, especially for a population led by bloodthirsty savages who to this day refuse to renounce violence.
There was no need to make excuses for Palestinians and claim that poverty and despair drove them to justifiable madness. Israel was a Jewish state and a democratic state. It was not an Apartheid state, and leftists (Jews and non-Jews) who routinely make such claims ignore the Islamic theocracies where women are beaten, gays are stoned to death, and everyone must submit to the official state religion.
Israel is a beacon to the world. It provides advances in medicine and technology that have saved lives and advanced the world. Those typing anti-Israel screeds on their keyboards are using Israeli products to do it.
Ariel Sharon went to any lawful lengths necessary to protect his beautiful nation-state that was given to the People of the Book thousands of years ago. He was accused of conducting massacres that never happened by people who invented a history out of thin air. He was attacked by every major news network, every major terrorist organization, and by Jews across the political spectrum.
Every battle he fought, he won. He was the bulldozer, and there will never be another one like him.
For those who love freedom, democracy, liberty and every other positive quality Israel brings the world, he will be missed.