Ariel Sharon

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Ariel Sharon, major-general in the Israeli army, Israeli politician and Prime Minister 1999-2006


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  • “Arabs may have the oil, but we have the matches.”
    • source: Friedman, Robert I. Zealots for Zion: Inside Israel's West Bank Settlement Movement (New York, New York: Random House, 1992), 132-52.
  • ".ההתיישבות היהודית היא לא מכשול לשלום, ההתיישבות היהודית היא מכשול למלחמה"
    • Translation: "The Jewish settlements are not a barrier to peace, the Jewish settlements are a barrier to war."
    • 1970s?
  • ".מלחמת שלום הגליל היתה מהמוצדקות ביותר במלחמות ישראל"
    • Translation: "Peace for Galilee's war was one of the most justified of Israel's wars."
    • Source: TV interview, 1986?
  • "אני אכן חושב שמלחמת לבנון היתה מהמוצדקות במלחמות ישראל. ועכשיו לעובדות: אני שומע את האמירות של ברק על הטרגדיה של 18 השנים בלבנון. צריך לזכור שהכניסה שלנו ללבנון החלה לפני 25 שנה, כשיצחק רבין היה רה"מ ופרס שר הביטחון. בשלב הראשון נכנסנו לדרום לבנון ואחרי חודש כבר היינו נוכחים בצפון לבנון וזאת בשל טרור מצד אש"ף. הגענו למצב שמחצית מאוכלוסיית הארץ נטשה את הצפון וזזה דרומה. אחרי המלחמה השתרר בצפון שקט להרבה שנים [...] כבר באוקטובר 82' הייתי היחיד שאמר שכבר אפשר לצאת מלבנון, אבל אז כבר לא הייתי שר ביטחון"
    • Translation: "I do think that the Lebanon War was one of the most justified of Israel's wars. Now to the facts: I hear Barak's statements on the 18 years tragedy in Lebanon. It should be remembered that our entrance to Lebanon started 25 years ago, when Yitzhak Rabin was the Prime Minister and Peres was the Minister of Defense. At the first stage, we entered south Lebanon and after a month we were already present in north Lebanon due to PLO terrorism. We reached a situation in which half of Israel's population deserted the north and moved southwardly. After the war, the north became quiet for many years [...] As early as October 1982, I was the only one who said that it's already possible to get out of Lebanon, but then I was no longer the Minister of Defense."
  • "You cannot like the word, but what is happening is an occupation -- to hold 3.5 million Palestinians under occupation. I believe that is a terrible thing for Israel and for the Palestinians." --May 26, 2003 [1]
  • "We can also reassure our Palestinian partners that we understand the importance of territorial contiguity in the West Bank for a viable Palestinian state." --June 4, 2003 [2]
  • "It is not in our interest to govern you. We would like you to govern yourselves in your own country. A democratic Palestinian state with territorial contiguity in Judea and Samaria and economic viability, which would conduct normal relations of tranquility, security and peace with Israel. Abandon the path of terror and let us together stop the bloodshed. Let us move forward together towards peace." --December 20, 2003 [3]
  • "As one who fought in all of Israel's wars, and learned from personal experience that without proper force, we do not have a chance of surviving in this region, which does not show mercy towards the weak, I have also learned from experience that the sword alone cannot decide this bitter dispute in this land." --October 2004 [4]
  • "If we [are to] reach a situation of true peace, real peace, peace for generations, we will have to make painful concessions. Not in exchange for promises, but rather in exchange for peace." --April 2003 [5]

  • "I am for lasting peace... United, I believe, we can win the battle for peace. But it must be a different peace, one with full recognition of the rights of the Jews in their one and only land: peace with security for generations and peace with a united Jerusalem as the eternal, undivided capital of the Jewish people in the state of Israel forever." --November 2000 [6]
  • "[Iran, Libya and Syria] are irresponsible states, which must be disarmed of weapons [of] mass destruction, and a successful American move in Iraq as a model will make that easier to achieve." --February 17, 2003 [7]
  • "Israel may have the right to put others on trial, but certainly no one has the right to put the Jewish people and the State of Israel on trial" --March 25, 2001 [8]
  • "I know I have been portrayed as a general looking for war. Many other headlines speak of that. That’s what people say. But I understand the importance of peace because I saw the horrors of war. That’s how I see it. I lost my best friends in battles — and I had to make decisions of life and death, of others and myself."
  • "I believe that Jews and Arabs can live together. It’s not an easy thing but I believe we can reach an agreement. I don’t want to pretend about talking to Arabs because I meet Arabs, here and on our farm at home. I would like to very careful not to pretend but I think I am one of the only ones here at the present time that will have the power and the strength to tell the citizens of Israel what they have to do and to make compromises and painful compromises, to look into their eyes and say that."

--November 5, 2002 [9]

  • "It had always been one of my convictions that Jews and Arabs could live together. Even as a child it never occurred to me that Jews might someday be living in Israel without Arabs, or separated from Arabs. On the contrary, for me it had always seemed perfectly normal for the two people to live and work side by side. That is the nature of life here and it always will be.... though Israel is a Jewish nation, it is, of course, not only a Jewish nation... I begin with the basic conviction that Jews and Arabs can live together. I have repeated that at every opportunity, not for journalists and not for popular consumption, but because I have never believed differently or thought differently, from my childhood on. I am not afraid of Arabs. I feel I can live with them. I believe I understand their problems. I know that we are both inhabitants of this land, and although the state is Jewish, that does not mean that Arabs should not be full citizens in every sense of the word." --In "Warrior," p343, 542-3
  • "The right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel does not mean disregarding the rights of others in the land. The Palestinians will always be our neighbors. We respect them and have no aspirations to rule over them. They are also entitled to freedom and to a national, sovereign existence in a state of their own." --In his UN Speech, September 18, 2005
  • "Our desire for peace is strong enough to ensure that we will achieve it, if only our neighbors are genuine partners in this longed-for goal. If we succeed in working together we can transform our plot of land, which is dear to both peoples, from a land of contention to a land of peace – for our children and grandchildren." --In his UN Speech, September 18, 2005
  • "I want to thank the Soviet Army for saving the Jews and the mankind in World War II." --during his visit to Moscow, September 5, 2001


  • "Prime Minister Sharon is a man of courage and peace." --President George W. Bush, 05 January 2006. [10]
  • "A bellicose man who seemed to be chomping at the bit to start a war." --President Ronald Reagan describing then defense minister Ariel Sharon in his autobiography "An American Life," chapter 58.
  • "I believe Mr. Sharon to be a man of peace." --President George W. Bush speaking of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in a public news conference in 2003.
  • "If I know Arik [Ariel Sharon's nickname], he'll head straight for Cairo and try to get votes for Likud" --Defense Minister Dayan on the third day of the Yom Kippur War (The Yom Kippur War, Rabinovich, pg 255)

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