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January 12, 2014 11:29 am
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Ariel Sharon – A Remembrance (OBITUARY)

avatar by Ronald S. Lauder

Former Israeli Prime MInister Ariel Sharon, known as the "Bulldozer," died at 85 after being in a coma since 2006. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

In the days ahead, pundits all over the globe will dissect the career of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. They’ll remember the brilliant military strategist, the political risk taker, the provocateur, the “Bulldozer.”

While people think of him as a hard, strong, and uncompromising person, the Ariel Sharon I knew was extremely warm and showed enormous sensitivity. He was a loyal friend, especially to the men who served with him in the wars Israel reluctantly fought.

I spent many hours with Sharon on his farm, sitting with him in the kitchen as his wife, Lily, cooked, discussing Israel’s security situation. Nobody knew the Land of Israel better than he did. And no one had a more-farsighted vision of the threats that would emerge.

Years before anyone spoke of it, Sharon predicted that Iran would pursue nuclear weapons. He also prophesied that the world would do little to stop its pursuit. And he knew that Israel had to depend on itself for its security, and not any other country, even the United States – and in security he said there would be no compromise.

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Ariel Sharon was the very definition of a patriot. May his memory be a blessing.

Ronald S. Lauder is the President of the World Jewish Congress.

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