When he died at 85 on January 11, Ariel Sharon had already passed from the current concerns of pundits to the more detached reflections of historians. In January 2006, when he was stricken by a massive cerebral hemorrhage, Sharon wasn’t only the prime minister of the state of Israel. The former general was the living symbol of Israeli military power and a master politician who transformed the country’s politics in pursuit of a vision of peace. But at the moment of his death, although the symbol remained, his political achievements had already proved ephemeral.Sharon’s death evoked two different types of reaction around the world, both of them fundamentally mistaken.
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