Good news. Samantha Power, our ambassador to the U.N., who knows from genocide, hasn’t tweeted out any condolences on Ariel Sharon, even as she’s tweeted about violence against women and children in the Congo.
J Street lacks her restraint. “Sharon will be remembered for many things,” J Street says in “J Street honors the memory of former Prime Minister Sharon.” Yes, many things; and you’d think they might have mentioned some of the bad stuff. But Sharon is only scored for the settlement project in the West Bank. Other than that, the eulogy (published below) is full of praise, and air-brushes Sharon’s war crimes with this diplomatic language: “presided over the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon.”
Also notice that Jews mourn Sharon around the world, J Street says, because as Sharon said, “Israel is a Jewish worldwide project.” Who are they trying to please? The new Israel lobby is sure beginning to look a whole lot like the old one. Remember the ending of Animal Farm?
“Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”
Here’s is J Street’s commemoration:
J Street honors the memory of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, a soldier and statesman who left an indelible mark on Israel and the Middle East.
Sharon will be remembered for many things – his bold thrust across the Suez Canal during the war of 1973, his role in planning the vast expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank and his tenure as Defense Minister, when he presided over the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon.
As Prime Minister, Sharon, like many of his predecessors, realized that Israel’s survival as a democratic, Jewish homeland depends on a two-state resolution of its conflict with the Palestinians. This understanding led him to to break with the Likud Party and to implement Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005. When he was cut down by a massive stroke in January 2006, Sharon was planning a similar withdrawal from the West Bank.
One lesson from the Gaza withdrawal is that Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians can only really be solved by the sides negotiating a peace agreement that ends the Israeli occupation, establishes a Palestinian state and settles all outstanding issues and claims. Still, Sharon deserves credit for the intellectual journey he took during his life and for having the courage to lead. His incapacitation, when at the height of his powers, leaves the challenge of making peace to be fulfilled by his successors, notably Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Sharon reminded us that “Israel is a Jewish worldwide project,” and so it is fitting that the loss of its 11th prime minister will be felt not only in Israel, but in Jewish communities around the world. We offer condolences to his family and to the people of Israel.