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Israel’s Caesar

Naomi Shepherd, 26 November 1987

SharonAn Israeli Caesar 
by Uzi Benziman.
Robson, 276 pp., £12.95, September 1987, 9780860514343
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Sands of Sorrow: Israel’s Journey from Independence 
by Milton Viorst.
Tauris, 328 pp., £16.50, September 1987, 1 85043 064 0
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... Ariel Sharon is both hero and bogeyman: brilliant military tactician and rogue general, master both of the pre-emptive strike and of the cover-up, populist leader and – in the eyes of liberal Israelis – perennial threat to Israel’s democracy. Uzi Benziman’s portrait is a commendable first attempt to evaluate the Sharon phenomenon ...


Ilan Pappe: The Israeli election and the ‘demographic problem’, 20 April 2006

... claimed would counter the ‘demographic problem’ posed by the Palestinian presence in Israel. Ariel Sharon proposed the pull-out from Gaza as the best solution to it; the leaders of the Labour Party endorsed the wall because they believed it was the best way of limiting the number of Palestinians inside Israel. Extra-parliamentary groups, too, such ...

The Disappointing Trajectory of Amir Peretz

Ilan Pappe: Will Peretz make a difference?, 15 December 2005

... But Peretz is unlikely to be the next prime minister of Israel. The polls predict that Ariel Sharon’s new venture, Kadima (‘Forward’), will have many more seats than Peretz’s Labour Party. The two could, and probably would, form a coalition government, if the centrist Shinui Party joined them and a few religious and several ...

The Boss Has Gone Crazy

Uri Avnery: Bush eyes up the Middle East, 6 January 2005

... East’), station permanent garrisons in the region, control the world’s oil market, and help Ariel Sharon to fulfil his plans. Bush can do pretty much as he pleases: Middle Eastern rulers have drawn this conclusion with impressive speed. Every one of them has rushed for cover in the nearest political cave. The Syrian ruler, Bashar Assad, has started ...

Ariel the Unlucky

David Gilmour, 5 April 1990

Warrior: The Autobiography of Ariel Sharon 
by Ariel Sharon and David Chanoff.
Macdonald, 571 pp., £14.95, October 1989, 0 356 17960 5
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The Slopes of Lebanon 
by Amos Oz, translated by Maurie Goldberg-Bartura.
Chatto, 246 pp., £13.95, January 1990, 0 7011 3444 5
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From Beirut to Jerusalem 
by Thomas Friedman.
Collins, 541 pp., £15, March 1990, 0 00 215096 4
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Pity the nation: Lebanon at War 
by Robert Fisk.
Deutsch, 622 pp., £17.95, February 1990, 0 233 98516 6
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... 1982 was a critical time for the authors of all four of these books. It was the year of Ariel Sharon’s most sanguinary foreign venture, which ended in massacre, failure, and a measure of disgrace. For the Israeli novelist Amos Oz, it was the year ‘the Land of Israel’ died in Lebanon, while for him personally it aroused feelings of alienation, the sense of being an exile in his own land ...

In Upper Nazareth

Ilan Pappe: ‘Judaisation’, 10 September 2009

... but the Palestinians did not leave, so a second wave of Judaisation began in 2001, under Peres and Ariel Sharon. This wasn’t very successful either; Jews preferred to live in Tel Aviv. The present attempt is motivated by the failure of the previous policies to make the Galilee in general, and Nazareth in particular, Jewish. People and economies move in ...

The Fair Cop

Tom Leonard, 7 July 2005

... now instead and I told him I noticed when the change first took place I said I remember it being Ariel Sharon how he kept saying terror terror terror terror fighting terror war on terror fighting terror war on terror all instead of terrorism and now the word’s over here and how this reminded me of the way words would change during the seventies how ...

Israel and the Gulf

Avi Shlaim, 24 January 1991

... unyielding nationalist convictions, moved from the Foreign Ministry to the Ministry of Defence. Ariel Sharon, chief architect of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, was back at the centre of government as Minister of Housing. On the fringes of the government, but helping to set the tone, were two renowned hardliners representing tiny but highly vocal ...

The Great Middle East Peace Process Scam

Henry Siegman: There Is No Peace Process, 16 August 2007

... confiscations of Palestinian territory – based on a plan devised, overseen and implemented by Ariel Sharon – knows that the objective of its settlement enterprise in the West Bank has been largely achieved. Gaza, the evacuation of whose settlements was so naively hailed by the international community as the heroic achievement of a man newly ...

Short Cuts

Jeremy Harding: Milosevic is delivered to the Hague, 19 July 2001

... Criminal Court can arrange for the appearance of Henry Kissinger, say, or Jonas Savimbi, or Ariel Sharon, after drawing up the rather straightforward indictments in each case. That’s interesting, too. Indeed, it’s one of the big questions. It can be put in order to discredit the process in The Hague, but that would be hugely unhelpful. Better ...

Israel’s Message

Ilan Pappe: Gaza, 1 January 2009

... as part of a unilateral peace process as many argued at the time (to the point of suggesting that Ariel Sharon be awarded the Nobel peace prize), but rather to facilitate any subsequent military action against the Gaza Strip and to consolidate control of the West Bank. After the disengagement from Gaza, Hamas took over, first in democratic ...

Very Active Defence

Peter Lagerquist: Private Defence, 19 September 2002

... subsidise private security for settlers in the recently occupied West Bank and Gaza in the 1970s. Ariel Sharon supported the policy and funnelled funds through the Israeli Ministry of Housing, of which he was then head. At the time, Chaim Oron, a Knesset representative for the leftist Meretz Party, opposed the initiative. ‘It was a way to give money to ...

Next to Israel, not in place of it

Uri Avnery: What is to be done?, 8 March 2007

... But Mahmoud Abbas was universally accepted as someone who wanted to achieve peace. Nevertheless, Ariel Sharon succeeded in avoiding any negotiations with him. The Gaza disengagement plan, which had Washington’s full support, served this end. But then Sharon suffered his stroke, and things might have gone badly for ...

Short Cuts

Yonatan Mendel: Uri Avnery, 13 September 2018

... find a new name to suit his new identity. He first considered Yosef (after his grandfather), then Ariel, but finally settled on Uri. In 1941, after his brother Werner, a volunteer in the British army, died on the Eritrean front, he chose Avnery as a Hebrew-sounding surname for its resemblance to his brother’s name. And so Helmut Ostermann became Uri ...

Short Cuts

Eyal Weizman: The Book of Destruction, 6 December 2012

... in 2005, Israel demonstrated its control over the enclave by means of its settlements. (In 1980, Ariel Sharon, then minister in charge of the settlements, said he wanted ‘the Arabs to see Jewish lights every night no more than five hundred metres away’.) After the military relocated to the Strip’s perimeter and bulldozed the ...

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