Why paint Sharon in warm colours?
Now that the war criminal Ariel Sharon has lost his eight-year-long battle with a stroke-induced coma, looks like world leaders, particularly the pusillanimous Indian state representatives, are indulging in sweetening the bitter legacy of the Israeli top gun. Sharon, who became the prime minister of Israel despite proven records of him being responsible for genocide of Palestinian people in 1953, two decades before he assumed the post, also led the Israeli invasion of Beirut in 1982, killing over 3,00 Palestinian refugees in the relief camps of Sabra and Shatilla. Yet the obituaries that are pouring in worldwide, including in prominent leftwing newspapers such as The Guardian of UK, are reverential, to say the least. Why should death be the reason behind airbrushing crimes against humanity of a notorious war criminal, just because he has finally succumbed to a battle with a nerve-wracking, literally, disease? Not only was Sharon responsible for furthering Israel’s reprehensible interests in expanding its colonial settlements in the Palestinian region, but, his was the political brain behind construction of the ugly West Bank wall, the vast steel and concrete serpentine separation that prevents hapless Palestinian refugees from accessing the more affluent settler sections, effecting an apartheid in the area.
That India had rolled out a red carpet for Sharon, the only Israeli prime minister to visit this country, was another example of our putting diplomatic interests before a brave and unfettered stance on the Palestinian question. Sharon was not just a shrewd politician and a ruthless general whose strategies on the battlefield have robbed millions of civilians of basic dignities of life, but his contribution in Israel’s emergence as the Bully of the Middle East is incontrovertible. Now that the rightwing extremist and the leader of Likud party is no more, why should the global fraternity mince words and sing posthumous praise of one of
History’s arch villain? Of course, to paint Israel’s strongman, ‘the portly old warrior’ in warmer colours, describing him as ‘feisty’ is nothing but an attempt to appease Tel Aviv and Netanyahu, who is busy carrying out Sharon’s agenda.