Isramail - Ariel Sharon

Ariel SharonShalom! Today, we say shalom (means peace, hi and goodbye in Hebrew) to Israel’s 11th Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon.

Ariel Sharon died January 11, 2014 at age of 85 after suffering from a coma eight years ago during his term as the Prime Minister of Israel from 2001 to 2006. Sharon was considered the greatest field commander in Israel's history and one of the country's greatest ever military strategists.

From the early age of 14, he fought to defend Israel in almost every war including the War of Independence, where he was severely wounded, in the Suez Canal Crisis, the Six-Day War of 1967, the War of Attrition, and the Yom-Kippur War of 1973. As Minister of Defense, he directed the 1982 Lebanon War.

Sharon is known to be one of the most controversial leaders Israel has ever had, as he led the construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and The Gaza Strip. However, as Prime Minister, in 2004 Sharon initiated, planned and executed Israel’s unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip.

Sharon, as many leaders, will be remembered differently by different people, but no one will argue that he was a passionate Zionist, a leader who was not afraid to make hard decisions, a man that loved the land and simple life, a man of humor all with life dedication to the security of Israel, which has been shaped by him until today. 

Sharon was voted as the 8th greatest Israeli of all time and was a known and respected figure around the world. Even Nasrallah, the chief of Hezbollah (a terrorist organization in Lebanon and Syria), stated a year ago in a very surprising comment that Sharon was the "last king in Israel.”

Today, a $250 million park named for him is under construction outside Tel Aviv. When complete, the Ariel Sharon Park will be three times the size of New York's Central Park and will introduce many new ecological technologies. A 50,000-seat amphitheater is also planned as a national concert venue.