Air Date: January 14 2014
Host: Vic Eliason
Guest: David Rubin
After 8 years in a coma, the former Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon, has passed away at 85, immediately setting into motion an intense dialogue in Israel about Sharon’s larger than life legacy. Political commentator and Israeli spokesman David Rubin has chosen not to ignore the complexities of this legend, whose charismatic personality was often a lightning rod for fierce debate within Israeli society.
David is a former mayor of Shiloh, Israel, in the region of Samaria known to most of the world as the West Bank. He is the founder and president of Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund dedicated to healing the trauma of children who have been victims of terrorist attacks. He is the author of three books including, ‘Peace for Peace: Israel in the New Middle East’ and ‘The Islamic Tsunami: Israel and America in the Age of Obama.’
According to David, Ariel Sharon was a complex figure; a tremendous military hero who saved Israel from destruction during the Yom Kippur War in 1973 after Israel had been attacked by surprise by the nation of Egypt. Vic also pointed to Sharon’s efforts during the 1956 Suez Crisis, the Six Day War in 1967 and the 1982 War.
Although Sharon was a great military and political leader, David also admitted that there were problems during Sharon’s tenure as Prime Minister. So while he considers Sharon to have been a great builder of the controversial settlements he was also a great destroyer of them as well as Sharon eventually adopted the left-wing policy to unilaterally withdraw from the Gaza Strip and turn it over to the Palestinian Authority. Find out why when you review this edition of Crosstalk.