|A gleaning from the gutter|
Now that the great Israeli general and former prime minister has, finally, shuffled off this mortal coil, the old lies and blood libels surrounding him have sprung into life anew, particularly the canard that he was responsible for the Sabra and Shatila massacre and for the second Intifada.
Tom Gross notes, at the start of a masterly must-read refutation of the vilification by outlets which really ought to know better:
"Already today, some in the international media have started to vilify him. In Britain, BBC Radio News at 4 p.m. eulogized Sharon by giving the floor as the sole speaker to a Palestinian man who claimed Sharon should not have been allowed to die of natural causes.
The publicly funded BBC, the world’s biggest news broadcaster, breaking its own charter to be balanced, is already repeating lies on its website that Sharon caused the Second Intifada. (The network has repeated it in at least eleven links in at least four different articles on its website just in the last five days.)"The Camera organisation, which also highlights and refutes the canards, concludes:
"Most of the false anti-Sharon charges, which have been repeated endlessly by pro-Palestinian activists, and by journalists who should know better, have their genesis in one simple fact. Over the last 60 years, every time Arab armies or terrorists have come to attack Israel, Sharon in ways large and small stood in their way, frustrating their aims and helping to defeat them. Whether as a young soldier in 1948 helping to defend Jerusalem against an Arab onslaught, or as a commando leader inventing counter-terror tactics in the 1950's, Sharon proved, to Arabs and Israelis alike, that the young nation could defend itself. As a Major General in the Six Day War, Sharon's brilliant assault on well-prepared defenses at Abu Agheila/Umm Katef shattered Egypt's hold on the Sinai; it is still studied in military academies around the world.
Courtesy: Jean Vercors
And Sharon's bold crossing of the Suez Canal in the Yom Kippur War in 1973, surrounding most of the Egyptian army, dismantling surface-to-air missiles that had been keeping the Israeli airforce at bay, and bringing Cairo under threat, brought the war to a close. Thanks to Sharon, yet another Arab attempt to destroy Israel had been soundly defeated.For his succesful efforts to build and defend the state of Israel, Ariel Sharon will never be forgotten. For exactly the same reasons, among Israel's adversaries Ariel Sharon will never be forgiven."As British journalist Jeremy Havardi writes in a good article here,Sharon
"was not anti-Arab. He once expressed the conviction that 'Jews and Arabs could live together' because they were 'both inhabitants of the land'. He was also far from being a stubborn defender of the status quo.
As Prime Minister, he made bold moves towards a political settlement, only to find his hopes dashed by Palestinian extremism. As a result, he exposed the grave perils of making peace with an enemy that had little interest in ending the conflict.
In 2005, he pulled nearly 10,000 Jewish settlers out of Gaza in a controversial move to end the political stalemate. He ceded Gaza to the Palestinians on the assumption that this would serve Israeli interests and preserve Israel's Jewish demographic majority....
The end result was an unceasing barrage of rocket and missile attacks on communities in southern Israel, much of it orchestrated by Hamas leaders who took power in 2006....
The lesson then was that peace could never be one sided and that reciprocity was vital for progress. In particular, as long as incitement against Jews and Israelis went unchallenged, the Palestinian mind-set would remain forever hostile. It is a lesson that John Kerry would do well to remember today."