January 5, 2006

"He always looked calm even in the most tense moments"

Renata, in Israel, writes:

...I don't want to talk politics right now. Doesn't matter if I agreed or not with Sharon's ideas, views and moves. He's a controversial figure and this is what makes him special. Doesn't matter if he's right or wrong. I'm just sad because I admire him. We're talking about a man who never feared going ahead - and this is a characteristic I really envy and admire. We'talking about a man who took part in all the of the cration and development of this country. He was there, in loco. For good and for bad. He was there, doing, witnessing, planning, criticizing, defending, attacking. I do admire him.

Unfortunately the public doesn't know too much about the man Sharon. I had the pleasure of knowing a bit about him during the almost year and a half running through the Knesset corridors. He's funny, is always in a good mood, jokes all the time on everyone and everything. Everytime I stared on him, I saw a kind of grandpa in front of me. The closer I could be was last year. I remember the Knesset was about to vote Gaza disengagement plan and everyone went nuts - from reporters, to politicians. Sharon got to the Parlament and instead of heading to his office, went to the restaurant. He rarely appears at the restaurant. Sat in a table, the staff brought him black coffee and dry fruits which he ate slowly. In a matter of seconds, the place was flooded with journalists. As I used to walk around all the time, I saw this and ran to his table as everyone while I called the Knesset TV's correspondent Michael Tuchfeld. I was one of the first who got there and dared sitting with him around the same table. Me, Udi Segal, from Channel 2 News, and Nitzan Chen, from Channel 1. And I was there, listening to his jokes, his laughs, his calm. He always looked calm even in the most tense moments. Just amazing. An amazing figure.

I don't know what's gonna happen in the next hours but I'm pessimistic as everyone else. I'm never going to forget that day, in which we sat around the same table, and I felt so excited...

As I commented to her, I remember reading about how the Israeli army in the early 1950's was actually not very good, and how the inspiration and model for what it became came from Sharon's paratroopers...(I think this was the book)

I can't think of any other person, past or persent, who could claim to have changed the course of history, and then done so again 50 years later! Renata is fortunate just to have met him.

Posted by John Weidner at January 5, 2006 9:43 PM
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