Controversial, complex, and bigger than life, Ariel Sharon was one of a kind. He was an IDF hero: a major general during Israel's Six-Day War and head of the Armored Reserve Division in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. His devotion to Israel, and Israeli independence, was fierce and legendary.
After holding a variety of government posts, he became Prime Minister of Israel in 2001, surprising many when he took steps to halt Israeli-Palestinian violence and resume peace talks. He served until a massive stroke brought him to Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) in early 2006; he never regained consciousness.
The Prime Minister was a man of strength, but he was profoundly human. He grew up on a farm, and loved to spend time at his Sycamore Ranch in the western Negev. During the second intifada, Prime Minister Sharon came to HMO to visit a baby boy who had been shot in the head. For all his years of battle, he wept at the sight of this critically injured child.*
Hadassah is saddened by the loss of a true Zionist and protector of Israel. May the memory of Ariel Sharon be remembered for a blessing.
*Hadassah Magazine February 2006