The merciless army general, who is struggling for his life, is seen as the main pillar for peace in the Middle East.
The fundamentalist nationalist, who stepped on the bones of thousands, illegally robbing them of their land and their rights, is praised as a symbol of tolerance and peacemaking.
The godfather of settlers and the main suspect in numerous war crimes is praised as a peacemaker.
The man who has started the most massive apartheid system in modern history is introduced as a symbol for reconciliation and coexistence; what happened? And who actually changed, Sharon or the world?
One must pay respect to those who have passed away or are struggling for their lives. As the Arabic saying goes, only mention good of the ones who have died – but not at the expense of paying proper respect to the ones whom he killed or were killed through his direct orders: the village of Qibya, whose homes his force of Israeli "commandos" blew up with families still inside; the poverty-stricken inhabitants of Sabra and Chatila refugee camps brutally massacred through Sharon’s "personal responsibility" (the indictment of the Israeli parliament); 20,000 Lebanese men, women, and children, victims of Sharon’s ruthless invasion of Lebanon and saturation bombing of Beirut; and the list can go on.
Did Sharon actually advance peace in the Middle East or did he push the region backwards? Are we, through his legacy, steps closer or miles more distance from achieving peace?
Sharon has not only left a legacy that none of his successors will be able to by-pass, but has also created illegal and inhuman realities on the ground that the entire world will find hard to correct.
Sharon was the leader who closed the only door of hope opened in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict; negotiations. By introducing unilateralism as the only acceptable diplomatic course, Sharon in effect brought back to life the for long standing Israeli denial ideology. The infamous statement of former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir "There is no such thing as a Palestinian" became, thanks to Sharon, the only loud voice in Israeli politics and public education, and its echo is heard across the globe.
Sharon is the Israeli leader who managed to bury the U.S. president’s vision of a two state solution and replace it, with the consent of the later, with a ghettoized entity contained inside the state of Israel.
His unilateral disengagement is based on a chauvinistic racist ideology of exclusion. This is not an accusation, but a declared policy of his newly established Kadima party. The TV drama that accompanied the Gaza redeployment of settlers and soldiers was incapable of covering the truth.
In summary, Sharon managed to add huge hurdles, physical and psychological that will have drastic negative effects on the future of this deeply troubled region.