Thursday, January 05, 2006

Ariel Sharon's Stroke

My prayers and thoughts go out to PM Sharon and his family. Hopefully he will make a speedy recovery but with his health, his age, and the risk factors, it's quite likely the former general will pass away shortly and bring the first major foreign political earthquake of 2006. Would Netanyahu be able to bring Likud to victory and return to the premiership? Will the moderate coalition that Sharon formed continue as a viable political entity? Will the Palestinian Authority respond in a way which clamps down on the natural opportunism terrorists within the PA seize upon?

Regardless of the outcome, Sharon's stroke should lead us to beging thinking about a more nuanced, balanced view of his career as soldier and as political leader, especially his tremendous political wager in evicting all Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip last year.

While I still doubt the long-term wisdom of that maneuver, there's no doubt it was one of if not THE major international political breakthrough of 2005 and a huge gamble taken in the ceaseless, though perhaps futile, quest for mid-East peace.