January 11, 2006

Sharon has been to the mountain

This is Yitzhak Laor in today's Ha'aretz. I've only seen his stuff in the London Review of Books or in Counterpunch when the LRB wouldn't publish one of his articles. Anyway here's the beginning:
Sympathy is awakened in every person at the sight of another person's suffering, unless one's concept about the suffering of others is taken from the legacy of Ariel Sharon. Sympathy is awakened by the diagrams of the brain and the detailed descriptions given by the surgeons on TV. Meanwhile, everyone is jumping aboard the "Altalena": One person weeps on TV remembering the adventure in Qalqilyah, another was with Sharon at Umm Katef, a third at the Suez Canal, and all remained alive, of course, to tell the tale of the glorious victor. Only in Kibiyeh, for some reason, was Sharon on his own, to show you that history has at least one advantage: there are events nobody wants to have participated in, not even in retrospect.

But nothing of the political farce currently playing began with the hemorrhage. For months, the politicians in Israel, particularly the most senior of them, have behaved as if Sharon was Moses on Sinai about to bring down the Ten Commandments. Now they are hoping that if not the Ten Commandments, at least there are a few scraps of paper on which he wrote the list of Kadima candidates for the Knesset. Tzachi Hanegbi in his place, Gideon Ezra in his, and let's not forget Avi Dichter.
And here's how it ends:
Sharon is waved as a single flag: a winner. The Sharon legacy is success. Success at what? At war and business and building an image. Here is the historical moment the Israelis longed for: to look like a success story.
The middle's quite good too.

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