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Ariel Sharon 1928-2014, Eulogized by Israeli and world leaders

The 11th Prime Minister of Israel, Ariel Sharon, was laid to rest in a military funeral at the Shikmim Farm in the Negev. He was eulogized by Israeli and world leaders.
On Monday, 13 January 2014, a state memorial ceremony was held at the Knesset. Eulogies were delivered by President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and family members.

US Vice President Joe Biden and Quartet representative Tony Blair also delivered eulogies. Other senior guests included Czech Prime Minister Jiri Rusnok, Russian State Duma Chairman Sergey Naryshkin, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Spanish Home Affairs Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz, Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander and others.

Following the ceremony, the funeral procession departed for the Shikmim Farm in the Negev by military convoy, stopping en route at Latrun for a special meeting of the IDF General Staff forum. Ariel Sharon was laid to rest in a military funeral at the Shikmim Farm, alongside his wife Lily.

Eulogy by President Shimon Peres

We are saying goodbye to you today, Arik. You were the shoulder on whom Israel's security rested. The story of your life is bound to the story of this country. And your life was dedicated to the life of this country. Your footprints are imprinted on every hill and in every valley. You cultivated the land with your scythe and defended it with your sword. Your fingerprints are on every diplomatic situation and every military outpost. You took and implemented the difficult decisions.

I remember during the early 1950s, the Commander of the Jerusalem Brigade asked to introduce David Ben Gurion to a young officer. He was a history student and that he had original ideas for dealing with the Fedayeen infiltrations into Jerusalem. The description of this young officer sounded to me more like a song than a biography. I was told he was smart and brave, unorthodox and daring. An officer who was both a leader and a decision maker. A soldier who never retreats from the enemy and a leader who doesn't fear vision. This young officer, Arik Sharon was his name, was born for greatness.

We met Arik and a friendship was instantly formed. I felt that before me stood an extraordinary young man with both the desire and rare quality to serve his people until the end. Ben Gurion loved him from first sight. His words conquered hearts. His soldiers followed him with total faith. If one of them was injured he wouldn't leave them until they recovered. To bereaved families he was a brother and a comforter. He knew how to tell the stories of their fallen loved ones with unforgettable emotion.

The nation loved him and he loved Israel, both its people and its land.

Arik was a man of the land. He loved the smell; he cultivated the hills, he sowed and he reaped. He defended this land like a lion and he taught its children to swing a scythe. He was a military legend in his lifetime and then turned his gaze to the day Israel would dwell in safety. When our children would return to our borders and peace would grace the Promised Land.

There were parts of his personality which were not written in his military biography. His emotional intelligence which shone through whenever he described a flower or a tree, a butterfly or a bird. And of course when he spoke of his friends. The greatness of Arik and Lilly's love was known to everyone. His children were dear to him and he to them. Omri and Gilad stood by him day and night with a sense of mission and an unending love, until his final breath.

We are accompanying to his final resting place today, a soldier, an exceptional soldier, a commander who knew how to win. A leader who breathed a dream, a man who charmed us all even during the most difficult hours.

Arik, You were unique. You turned the seemingly impossible into endless opportunity. You fought off dangers and never delayed decisions. You decided and you were victorious. May you rest in peace, a great leader. You never rested when in service of your people, when defending your land and when making it flourish. The land from which you came will embrace you in the warm arms of the history of our nation to which you added an unforgettable chapter.

In the words of the poet - "As the nation arises, Torn at heart but still breathing, To receive its miracle, the only miracle." May your memory be blessed, Arik.

Eulogy by PM Benjamin Netanyahu

Ariel Sharon was one of the greatest military leaders of the people of Israel and the Israel Defense Forces. Arik belonged to our founding generation, the generation of our national revival. Israel's revival depended first and foremost on a generation of Jewish leaders who reintroduced the legacy of Jewish bravery in the Land of Israel – a legacy that seemed to have vanished during our years in exile. Arik Sharon played a central role in building this legacy of bravery. He fought with the Israel Defense Forces for many years – from the War of Independence to the fateful battles of the Yom Kippur War.

He laid the foundations for the IDF war doctrine, primarily the concept of retaliation and offensive measures in the fight against terrorism. He did so when he established Unit 101, commanding heroic fighters such as Meir Har-Zion and his comrades. Arik also personified and implemented the "outflanking doctrine" in battle. He did so when he parachuted at the Mitla Pass during the Sinai Operation and in the great outflanking maneuvers of the Six Day War. However, his maneuvering and command abilities were demonstrated primarily during the Yom Kippur War when he led the IDF forces across the Suez Canal and surrounded the Egyptian Third Army. This maneuver, under his command, reversed the direction of the battle and led to the successful conclusion of the war, which began under very difficult circumstances for the State of Israel. On those occasions, Arik demonstrated courage and resourcefulness – which filtered down to his soldiers and served to significantly embolden the fighters.

As minister and Prime Minister he insisted on our right to defend ourselves in this region so that we can live here safely – a right we continue to defend today and which is a necessary precondition for our existence and for the achievement of peace.

I did not always agree with Arik and he did not always agree with me. But when we served in each other's governments we worked in cooperation for the benefit of Israel's security and economy. Arik was a practical and pragmatic man. His pragmatism was rooted in his deep emotional ties to the State of Israel and the Jewish people. He understood all too well the essence of anti-Semitism and the need for the Jews to be masters of their own fate in a country of their own. He attributed great importance to our relations with our greatest ally, the United States, but also stood firm in defending Israel's vital interests in times of trial.

When the international reaction to one of the terror attacks against us seemed too conciliatory to him, he appealed to the international community and said the following: "Do not repeat the dreadful mistake of 1938 when enlightened democracies in Europe decided to sacrifice Czechoslovakia for a convenient temporary solution. Do not try to appease the Arabs at our expense. We will not tolerate it". End quote.

Arik understood that when it came to our existence and our security, we must stand firm. These are principles that we continue to safeguard. The State of Israel will continue to fight terrorism; the State of Israel will continue to strive for peace while preserving its security; and the State of Israel will make every effort to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Ariel Sharon will go down in history as one of Israel's greatest military leaders and one of the greatest fighters for the people of Israel in their land.

Arik, the people of Israel bid you farewell today. Your unique contribution to Israel's security is etched on the pages of our nation's history. May your memory be forever cherished in the heart of this nation.

Israeli American Council (IAC)

“On behalf of the Israeli American community, we send our deepest condolences to Ariel Sharon’s family and to all the people in Israel,” said Shawn Evenhaim, Chairman of the Israeli-American Council (IAC). “Sharon was a true leader and a brave and persistent soldier who dedicated his life to the State of Israel and its people. He worked tirelessly in the military and in the government toward a better future for the people of Israel and for the entire region. We share the sadness of his passing with all our brothers and sisters in Israel and all Jews across the world. He will be long remembered for his lifetime commitment to the State of Israel and will hold a prominent place in the history of the State of Israel”.


Israel mourns former PM Ariel Sharon

Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon passed away on January 11, 2014, never regaining consciousness after suffering a brain hemorrhage in January 2006.

President Shimon Peres:
"My dear friend, Arik Sharon, lost his final battle today. Arik was a brave soldier and a daring leader who loved his nation and his nation loved him. He was one of Israel's great protectors and most important architects, who knew no fear and certainly never feared vision. He knew how to take difficult decisions and implement them. We all loved him and he will be greatly missed. I send my condolences to the Sharon family, may he rest in peace."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
"The State of Israel bows its head on the passing of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Ariel Sharon played a central role in the struggle for the security of the State of Israel over all its years. He was, first and foremost, a courageous fighter and an outstanding general, and was among the IDF's greatest commanders. From his youth, he served the people of Israel on the battlefield. He did so as a soldier in the War of Independence, a commander in the [1956] Sinai campaign and the Six Day War, and up to his decisive role in the battle over the Suez Canal that led to the turning point in the Yom Kippur War.
He established Unit 101 and took the initiative in the war against terrorism, which became a central pillar of the State of Israel. Upon leaving the military, he continued to work on behalf of the people of Israel both in his many government roles and as the 11th prime minister of the State of Israel. His memory will be enshrined forever in the heart of the nation."

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman:
"Ariel Sharon served the State of Israel from its establishment until the last moment he could, taking part in the central events that shaped its character. Sharon will be remembered first of all as a great military commander who led many important battles, most importantly the crossing of the Suez Canal during the Yom Kippur War, as well as the battles of Israel's War of Independence and the establishment of the special 101 Unit, the Sinai Campaign, and more.
Sharon's political legacy has always been controversial, from his tenure as Chairman of the Ministerial Settlement Committee which strengthened Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria, to the disengagement from Gaza which he initiated and implemented. He will go down in the history of Israel as one of the most noteworthy and influential figures."


Sheba hospital director "deterioration of Ariel Sharon very serious"

Israel, The day after the announcement of the deteriorating condition of former Prime Minister from Sheba hospital where he was hospitalized stated that he suffers from - function in the body and that his condition continues to be critical. "There is a danger of his life"

Director of Sheba Medical Center , Professor Zeev Rotstein , said this morning ( Thursday ) that the deterioration in the condition of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is very serious , and there is a danger to his life. In a press release , stated Prof. Rothstein : " We've witnessed the ups and downs of the medical condition in the past two and a half months, but he returned back and stabilized , yet the last two days we expect a gradual decline in function of the number of critical organs in his body ."

According to the director of the hospital , Sharon's condition is defined as critical. " This is the situation today , with the background of this long period with comorbidities . We expect a decline in function of the number of elements that are essential to life . I can not be a prophet, but the feeling of the doctors treating him and his family is that there is an adverse change ," he noted . " Everyone's feeling is that the deterioration is very serious deterioration , even our sense ."

Sharon's condition , the 11th Prime Minister of Israel , began to deteriorate in December 2005 then suffered a mild stroke , for which he was hospitalized for a few days at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. He was scheduled to undergo heart catheterization , but the day before surgery, on January 4, 2006, he felt ill . He was rushed to the hospital , and after a series of tests revealed that he suffered a stroke two more serious . After emergency treatment given to him , he fell into a coma . When it became clear that Sharon could not continue to serve as chairman of the party and the deal for the 17th Knesset , replace these positions Ehud Olmert , in his capacity as Acting Prime Minister.

Early last year, AFP reported an improvement in the condition of Sharon, and he was taken to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba for MRI examinations . That same day delivered from Tel Hashomer hospital that Sharon's condition remained unchanged and that he be returned there after a few hours of testing . Last September, Sharon underwent planned surgery beforehand stomach. Analysis , designed to fix something in his stomach feeding lasted about an hour and went as expected.

Israel Remembers September 11

To the American People: 
Israel deeply mourns the more than 3,000 victims of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. The people of Israel express their most heartfelt sympathy for the American people.
We share in your grief, and will keep the victims and their families in our heart and prayers forever.
We salute you, a people who refused to succumb to hatred or to fear, but instead stood united in compassion, tolerance and generosity of spirit to survive your darkest hour.
We stand with you, a people who chose to mourn the innocent victims of September 11th with dignity and to honor their memory by bringing those responsible to justice.
We support you not only in the fight against terrorism, but also in the battle for freedom and security, democracy and peace.
The ties of shared values and genuine friendship between our two peoples are stronger than ever.
America, Israel is with you.

The five Israeli victims of September 11, 2001:
• Alona Avraham
• Leon Lebor
• Shay Levinhar
• Daniel Lewin
• Haggai Sheffi

At an official ceremony in solidarity with the American people and the families of the victims held in the Prime Minister's office on the first anniversary of the attacks - on Sept 11, 2002 at 15:46 PM (8:46 AM in New York) - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and US Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer spoke, and Ashkenzi Chief Rabbi Yisrael Lau recited psalms. Flags were lowered to half-mast.

At the Israeli Cabinet meeting on September 10 devoted to the attacks, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said:
"Tomorrow, we will mark one year since the 9.11.2001 terror attack on the US. Thousands of civilians from many countries lost their lives in the attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. They were perpetrated by terrorists who had lived in the US and who used the freedoms that this great democracy affords its citizens - in order to attack it. It was an historic warning light to democracies, which are being called on to defend themselves against those who would assail them. Our hearts are with the innocent victims' families and with the American people. I hold US President George Bush in the highest esteem for the true leadership that he showed in understanding the great historic challenge facing him.
Israel, which has been engaged in a war against murderous terror since its independence to this very day, knows that there is no compromise in the war against terror. Any display of weakness in the battle against terror is destined to claim a heavy price.
Tomorrow, we will hold a solidarity assembly to mark the anniversary. We will remember 9.11.2001 as a day on which the dark and dangerous forces threw down a challenge to the leadership of the free world and the values of liberty and democracy. The counter-assault of the free world, led by the US, began that very day.
We believe that this campaign will end in the complete victory of light over darkness."

Foreign Minister Shimon Peres wrote to US Secretary of State Colin Powell:
"As the United States remembers the terrible events of September 11, one year after the murderous hand of terrorism caused the loss of so many innocent lives in the destruction of the World Trade Center, the attack on the Pentagon, and the crashing of United Flight 93, Israel remembers together with you. As you honor the memory of the victims, we, too, pay tribute to the victims and the heroes of that terrible day...

As America pays homage to the victims of September 11 and the families commemorate their loved ones, we stand as one with you and convey our heartfelt sympathy and condolences."

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