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Perhaps there is an upside

Reader comment on item: Ariel Sharon's Folly

Submitted by Kenneth S. Besig (Israel), Apr 6, 2005 at 08:57

Let me state that I have been an admirer and supporter of Ariel Sharon for over twenty years, and I believe that no other Israeli politician or military leader has contributed as much to the security and well being of the citizens of the State of Israel. Ariel Sharon is a true hero of Israel, and because of this I firmly believe that in Sharon's eyes, the expected benefits of this expulsion of Jews from the Gaza Strip and the Northern Shomron must outweigh the potential disadvantages.

I am personally unconvinced that this is the case, and I fear that Mr. Sharon is making a mistake of such magnitude that it will destroy his reputation and place in history just as the Oslo debacle will taint any memory of Yitzchak Rabin. It would certainly help if Mr. Sharon would explain to me and the rest of the Israeli public just what security, diplomatic, or political advantages will derive from this strange, immoral, and just plain cruel plan of Jewish ethnic cleansing, something which, I might add, hasn't occurred in this part of the world since the Arab states expelled their Jewish citizens following the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.

As an Israeli citizen I am deeply disturbed by the expulsion plan in and of itself, but I am just as upset at the manner in which this deeply divisive and dangerous policy has been formulated, and the undemocratic manner in which it has been approved and promoted by the Sharon government. Mr. Sharon has unfortunately repeated the same desperate public relations and governmental blunders that so damaged and diminished the legacy of Yitzchak Rabin, and whatever upside there may ultimately be to the disengagement plan, they will be more than offset by the damage inflicted by that plan and its execution on Israeli democracy.
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