Monday, January 09, 2006

Sharon, From NRO

From this editorial, but I only really like this part.

Much of the world had long lost interest in Israel's right to a secure life, and perceived only the costs the Palestinians were inflicting on themselves for their unremitting aggression. It became commonplace to demonize Sharon as a right-winger, to liken him to Hitler, and to stage trials for his alleged war crimes. In the end, he had a riposte as unexpected as it was magnificent. Security, he now concluded, necessitated a two-state solution. Israel would build a security fence, withdraw its settlements from Gaza and the more exposed parts of the West Bank, and leave Israelis and Palestinians each to conduct their business as they see fit. Should the Palestinians at last acquire a state of their own, Sharon will have done more to bring it about than any Palestinian, Arafat included, ever did.

Such a program was not a reversal of his lifelong view, but an imaginative fulfillment of it. Putting it in place, he oversaw the reluctant expulsion of some 9,000 Israelis from Gaza, he broke with his political colleagues, and founded a new party, Kadima, whose essential purpose is to make the two-state solution a reality, difficult as this will prove for his successors. This lone ranger had the authority to achieve so huge a political shake-up because most Israelis knew from experience that they could entrust their security to him. His departure from the scene at this perilous moment is a reminder that history is a matter of great individuals and courageous choices.

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