A Divisive Figure, Leaders Mourn and Rejoice Sharon’s Death

Obama, Hollande express condolence while Hamas expresses "extreme happiness"

  • Share
  • Read Later
Brennan Linsley / ASSOCIATED PRESS

In this Monday, April 26, 2004 file photo, Marking Israeli Memorial Day, Israeli Prime Minster Ariel Sharon greets family members of terror victims, after a memorial ceremony for Israeli civilians who have been killed since Israel's founding 56 years ago, at Mt. Herzl Cemetery, in Jerusalem.

Ariel Sharon, the former Israeli prime minister and war hero who lionized a generation of Israelis and enraged Palestinians, as well as some of his most staunch supporters, was remembered as a controversial and commanding figure following his death Saturday at the age of 85. He died from a massive stroke.

For Israelis who sought to strengthen their country’s borders in a series of wars with its neighbors after the nation’s 1948 founding, Sharon is remembered as a war hero and staunch Zionist. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu expressed his “deep sorrow” over Sharon’s death, calling him “a great warrior and military leader,” the Jerusalem Post reported. President Shimon Peres called Sharon “a valorous soldier and a bold statesman who contributed much to the security and building up of the State of Israel.”

World leaders friendly with Israel also chimed in to express their condolences. French president Francois Hollande credited Sharon as “a major actor in the history of his country,” citing his “choice to turn towards dialogue with Palestinians,” Reuters reports.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who is visiting Israel and seeking to broker a peace deal, said “We remember his contributions, sacrifices he made to ensure the survival and the well-being of Israel, and I have many personal thoughts about my meetings with him on many different occasions — always robust and strong and clear about his positions,” according to Fox News.

U.S. President Barack Obama released a statement saying, “We reaffirm our unshakable commitment to Israel’s security and our appreciation for the enduring friendship between our two countries and our two peoples. We continue to strive for lasting peace and security for the people of Israel, including through our commitment to the goal of two states living side-by-side in peace and security.”

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has yet to release any comment or reaction, but Hamas, the militant Palestinian authority of the Gaza Strip, rejoiced over his death, Reuters reports. “We have become more confident in victory with the departure of this tyrant,” said a Hamas spokesman, whose movement preaches the destruction of the Jewish state.”Our people today feel extreme happiness at the death and departure of this criminal whose hands were smeared with the blood of our people and the blood of our leaders here and in exile.”

Sharon’s 2005 decision to withdraw Israeli settlements from the Gaza Strip still divides his critics and supporters.

[Jerusalem Post]

85 comments
Adam ScrewedEve
Adam ScrewedEve

***"How speedily did toady journalists in Washington and New York patch up this brutal man's image. After sending his army's pet Lebanese militia into the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in 1982, where they massacred up to 1,700 Palestinians, Israel's own official enquiry announced that Sharon bore "personal" responsibility for the bloodbath. He it was who had led Israel's catastrophic invasion of Lebanon three months earlier, lying to his own prime minister that his forces would advance only a few miles across the frontier, then laying siege to Beirut – at a cost of around 17,000 lives. But by slowly re-ascending Israel's dangerous political ladder, he emerged as prime minister, clearing Jewish settlements out of the Gaza Strip and thus, in the words of his own spokesman, putting any hope of a Palestinian state into "formaldehyde".*** http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/ariel-sharon-peacemaker-hero-and-butcher-9053699.html

Mon Maydeen
Mon Maydeen

I hope Kerry will follow him wherever he goes. There's a special place in hell for ppl like Sharon.

Isyaku Ibrahim
Isyaku Ibrahim

This is the politician treading a fully mined territoy. How can a man be praised for been reputed in killing and subjugating others for his country and people to succeed. Who must destry others in order to succeed, should not have the love and sympathy of others.

Don K Pierstorff
Don K Pierstorff

What the hell's the matter with Kerry? Can't he read? Is he blind?

Jessica Laal
Jessica Laal

Yes Kerry we do! So do the murdered as well as their families!!!! He was a coward!

Lun Lc
Lun Lc

He was given a severe suffer in this world as had been a come for 8 YEARS !! Some of you said he was tough and hero, but actually he got severely worst condition before he died. Was it good ending? THis a sign of God's punishment for butcher. May god give the severest punishment in the hell fire.

Tony Bruan
Tony Bruan

God Bless the IDF and Ariel Sharon !!!

Lucas Bavaresco
Lucas Bavaresco

that's not possible because israel has no respect for any country, international law, anything else... only for itself and its best interests.

Kenn Orphan
Kenn Orphan

He was a war criminal and a butcher. The only thing sad about his passing is that he did not face justice for that in the Hague. "One could go on and on about Sharon and his crimes. As he lay dying, perhaps within days or minutes of his final breath, we must all remember his victims, the countless dead, wounded and displaced and remind the world that this man was not a hero but a criminal." -Miko Peled, Israeli peace activist and author

Beckett40
Beckett40

A great leader, the last of the great warriors of 1948, Rest with G-d, great, great soul.

Al Countof Sofy
Al Countof Sofy

the murderer, what happened for him was a punish of god all past eight years. and he will get so much more after his death.

Hassan Al-Hiti
Hassan Al-Hiti

Glenn Sanmann u should read a book instead of being on facebook

Harrison Joshua Cande
Harrison Joshua Cande

A good TV show always begins with something very controversial and ends on an uplifting note.

Harrison Joshua Cande
Harrison Joshua Cande

With a dedication to kindness, it is truly impossible to lose in your heart.

Harrison Joshua Cande
Harrison Joshua Cande

Does anyone else have as a personal goal being so kind that it makes people cry?

Harrison Joshua Cande
Harrison Joshua Cande

I purport myself to have made more mistakes than anyone. That is why I try to learn.

Joel Kumdung Fwangter
Joel Kumdung Fwangter

sadam huseni and Gaddafi etc, killd many of their countrymen while Sharon reacted accordingly against the enemies of his fellow countrymen and d country's territory. very fierceMan, d real Isrealite; Brothr of David, Gideon,Joshua and Moses i know. RIP!

Mrr Foxtrot
Mrr Foxtrot

hi CNN boy ... just back from school ??

Harrison Joshua Cande
Harrison Joshua Cande

I forgive everyone for all the horrible things that have ever been done to me starting right now.

Harrison Joshua Cande
Harrison Joshua Cande

When we, as Humans, can forgive one another for all the terrible things that have been done, we will spiritually progress at a rate that is incomprehensible. The most difficult person to forgive is always yourself.

Harrison Joshua Cande
Harrison Joshua Cande

When deals can be struck between Islam and Judaism in the spirit of kindness, peace will quickly follow.

Harrison Joshua Cande
Harrison Joshua Cande

Until Jews (I am one) and Arabs forgive one another for all that has been done and all the blood that has been shed, there will be never be peace.

Abdul Naeem Quraishi
Abdul Naeem Quraishi

Finally God showed his Mercy. When he killed in the name of his religion he never thought of the God of Mankind.

Harrison Joshua Cande
Harrison Joshua Cande

Wars will keep being fought so long as people are unwilling to compromise. That is how peace works.

ricardo_lion
ricardo_lion

Adam (from the bible, the Jewish people`s holy book), Sabra and Shatila - Arabs killed by Arabs.  Arabs were killing each other in Lebanon before Israel invaded (to stop the PLO from firing rockets on Israel`s towns) and kept killing each other after the IDF left.  Civil war all over the judenrein (no Jews) Arab world.  Arabs killed 300,000 black Christians in Darfur, Arabs even kill their own daughters and sisters for "honour".  Can`t blame little Israel for that, sorry.

ricardo_lion
ricardo_lion

 Said Michael (Jewish Israeli name)...  Why?  Israel (0,0000000000000000000000....1% of the ME, 20% of Palestine, a million times smaller than those 57 countries that call themselves Islamic) is the Jewish (the religion of Jesus), democratic and civilized (no civil war, hanging of gays, women stoning, "honour" killing of girls, cannibalism, etc.) in the region.

ricardo_lion
ricardo_lion

 Israel did not declare war on those Muslim Arab bloody dictatorships, medieval kingdoms and jihadi groups, but the other way around.  

ricardo_lion
ricardo_lion

 He was a good soldier, he protected his country from Muslim Arab bloody dictatorships, medieval kingdoms and jihadis.  As a politician he made Gaza "judenrein" (free of Jews), gave it to the Arabs that, instead of turning it into this "Palestine" (Jewish name) for the first time (it belonged to Egypt, GB and Turkey before) made it into a launchpad for Iranian missiles.

ricardo_lion
ricardo_lion

 What God?  The One from the bible, the Jewish book?

Beckett40
Beckett40

A murderer?  Are you insane?

Beckett40
Beckett40

Yes, that is what you look like on a good day.