Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

Statement: Death of Ariel Sharon

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MEDIA STATEMENT

January 12, 2014

 

"Ariel Sharon was a towering figure throughout Israel's history and made powerful, unique contributions to the development of the Jewish State, both as an outstanding, heroic soldier and a transformative, respected - if at times controversial - political figure.

"Boldness, bravery and capability were his hallmarks in both roles. His commitment to Israel's national security was exemplified in his crucial military crossing of the Suez Canal in the 1973 Yom Kippur war as well as in his effective strategy to stop suicide terrorism from the Palestinian Intifada in 2002.

"However, his determined pragmatism as Prime Minister from 2001-2006 delivered the watershed 2005 disengagement from Gaza in dismantling all 21 settlements there as well as four in the West Bank, after endorsing a two-state resolution of the conflict in 2003. While disappointing some supporters, these moves drew plaudits from the peace camp, and importantly reflected and helped shape the evolution of Israeli views on issues related to peace with the Palestinians and in forging a new national consensus.

"AIJAC joins Israel and its supporters in reflecting on and honouring his remarkable career and recognizing that his passing will be sincerely mourned as a profound loss to the country he loved and served with such passion."

 

DR. COLIN RUBENSTEIN AM
Executive Director, AIJAC

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