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October 06, 1989 - Image 25

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-10-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Craig Terkowitz

Ariel Sharon: Says he is called in when a crisis arises.

tragedy on the fact that in previous raids,
Israeli forces had only demolished outly-
ing buildings. "Expecting the same," he
writes, "some Arab families must have
stayed in their houses rather than running
away."
But he also relates that Kibbiya was in-
tended to teach Palestinians a lesson. And
despite the bad publicity, he suggests, Kib-
biya was an important turning point for
the IDF; it gave them a new confidence in
their abilities to hit hard at terrorists,
engendered a new self-confidence among
Israeli soldiers.
Sharon continued his climb up the Israeli
military hierarchy. In 1955, he led the suc-
cessful Galilee operation against the
Syrians.
In 1965, he was promoted to major
general, and appointed director of military
training and commander of a reserve unit
— vantage points from which he watched

the approach of the Six Day War, and
fought what he viewed as "confusion and
indecision" as Israel's leaders tried to cope
with the Egyptian buildup.
After Israel's astounding victory, Sharon
immediately grasped the fact that the oc-
cupied territories would be the central
political and diplomatic issue in the years
to come.
Before the dust of the war had settled,
Sharon moved quickly to establish a new
reality "on the ground" that would make
it more difficult for future Israeli leaders
to negotiate away the newly won territor-
ies. As soon as Samaria and Judea were
"liberated," he writes, he'moved military
training facilities to the captured territory.
Throughout his book, Sharon portrays
himself as the man who is constantly be-
ing shunted aside because of his strong
views, only to be asked to save the day
when crises arise.

Characteristically, Sharon did not work
through the established party hierarchies
when he launched his political career. In-
stead, he rented a hall, called in the press
and announced his scheme for a unified op-
position coalition.
His new political career was interrupted
by the Yom Kippur war in the fall of 1973.
Characteristically, he remains convinced
that the bungling of his superiors, who
refused to go along with his plan for an im-
mediate counterstrike against the Egyp-
tians, almost lost the war for the Israelis
At one point, Sharon, who had brought his
troops to the banks of the canal itself, was
ordered back into a defensive posture,
despite his pleas to begin organizing a
canal crossing. It was only after a major
Egyptian offensive was turned back that
the General Headquarters staff decided to
move with a little more boldness — and
turned Sharon loose on the Egyptians.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS 25

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