There will undoubtably be many proposals in Israel on the best way to memorialize Ariel Sharon. Yesterday Israeli military spokesperson Peter Lerner tweeted that Israel will name a mammoth new IDF training base in the Negev after Sharon. While fitting, it is hard to argue with Knesset member Moti Yogev who says Israel should construct a West Bank settlement in Sharon’s honor:
Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Yogev recalled Sharon’s long legacy as a military hero and political leader. “He was like a giant tree that gave protection. For his whole life, he protected the people and the state of Israel.”
. . .
“It pains me that toward the end of his active life, as prime minister, he caused heartbreak to so many, to thousands of [Gush Katif] residents and to hundreds of thousands, millions, of Israeli citizens who saw the destruction… and the heartbreak until today, because a solution was not found for every settler,” Yogev said, echoing Sharon’s promise in 2005 to resettle each uprooted Israeli citizen.
The heartbreak “could be what toppled this giant tree,” he added, in an apparent reference to Sharon’s health woes following the Disengagement, which culminated in a massive stroke that left him comatose until his death.
Now, he continued, Israel should honor Sharon’s legacy through construction. “To build new communities in Judea and Samaria bearing his name”
The article ends:
Yogev urged the government “not to give in to those who are trying to play up the last part of his life,” but rather, “to focus on Arik Sharon, the man who built, who worked for Aliyah [immigration] and for settlement.”
“The memory of the good he did will be preserved,” Yogev concluded.
Not all on the Israeli right have been so charitable. Sharon was never forgiven by many for evacuating the settlements in Gaza, even if Israel did retain military control over the area. Knesset member, and Hebron settler, Orit Struck made headlines for thanking God for the stroke that ended Sharon’s political career:
“While thanking and recognizing Sharon’s great contributions to the State of Israel, we must also thank God for the fact that Sharon was taken from our public lives before he was able to bring to residents of Judea and Samaria the tragedy he brought to the residents of Gush Katif and around Gaza”
Struck apologized, but others refuse to. Baruch Marzel, a settler leader in Hebron said of Sharon’s death that he’s “satisfied that a threat on the Land of Israel was removed.”