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EDWARD SCHWEIKERT: Ariel Sharon is model for modern-day Israeli politician

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Ariel Sharon helped build Israeli Defense Force

Letter to the editor

Letter to the editor

If you were to pick one modern day Israeli politician, it would be Ariel Sharon rising to the top. He defined today’s military and political systems, even in America.

He would be the “unemployed compensation bill” opponent’s poster boy or upon hearing of his death erected a shrine. Sharon began life as a commoner in then Palestine, rose through the beginning Israeli military ranks, and then entered into its ever growing politics. Sharon built on the positive elements of his life.

Sharon helped build the Israel Defense Force (IDF) into the most feared military force in the world. During the 1976 Yom Kippur War as the IDF entered the outskirts of Damacus, the Soviet Union was flying its elite parachute unit to stop further IDF movement. Sharon and his southern units encircled Egypt’s Third Army.

Sharon also created the weak link in IDF. While prime minister, he evicted the Jewish settlers out of Gaza Strip and into newly-built housing for them. The IDF faced religious and philosophical principles. From individual to whole units, they refused to obey orders. The people and units were replaced and the eviction continued. (My source was Voice of Israel radio.)

In 2006, Sharon suffered a massive stroke and remained in a “permanent vegetative coma” until his 2014 death.

EDWARD SCHWEIKERT

Albany