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Sharon suffers major stroke
January 4, 2006 3:52 PM   Subscribe

Ariel Sharon suffers major stroke. Executive power temporarily transferred to his deputy as doctors operate to drain blood from his brain. Say what you will about Sharon's tenure, his death now would send shockwaves through the Israeli political establishment and through the region.
posted by LondonYank (177 comments total)

 
Finally!
posted by TedW at 3:53 PM on January 4, 2006


Glad to see him go.
posted by soiled cowboy at 3:54 PM on January 4, 2006


"Doctors who have not examined Sharon but are experts in the field said his chances of a full recovery are slim."
posted by soiled cowboy at 3:55 PM on January 4, 2006


Surely "shockwaves" are reserved for political leaders who were in good health and didn't, say, suffer a stroke two weeks prior?
posted by Saucy Intruder at 3:55 PM on January 4, 2006


Actually I was referring to this, not expressing gladness over something bad happening to another person, even one with whose politics I generally disagreed.
posted by TedW at 3:55 PM on January 4, 2006


^^ Frist?
posted by docgonzo at 3:55 PM on January 4, 2006


Damn. Was referring to soiled cowboy's quote.
posted by docgonzo at 3:56 PM on January 4, 2006


also, whatever your politics, gloating about the possible death of an elected official is crass and petty.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 3:57 PM on January 4, 2006




Whatever your politics, slaughter is crass and petty.
posted by Firas at 4:03 PM on January 4, 2006


He is a great leader who had a great run. Fortunately, there are able successors in the wings.

I wouldn't be surprised if a slice of Gaza is reoccupied in the next year (or so), but I hope that's not necessary.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:05 PM on January 4, 2006


gloating over Hitler's death would be bad? Pol Pot's? Mao? I'm not sure I see the problem here. Murdering murderers are still murderers who murder and when there are no more murderers murdering, why, there will be less murdering going on. In a murdersome way, murderwise . . . Damn, cold-blooded murderers. . .
posted by mk1gti at 4:06 PM on January 4, 2006


No, it's not crass and petty, it's disgusting. Unless, of course you're talking about a big-time murdered like Arafat, in which case mild satisfaction (but no more) is appropriate. You can want clearly bad people dead, but expressing joy at it happening is not appropriate--yes, a paradox.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:07 PM on January 4, 2006


PLEASE IGNORE THE PARIS PARAMUS SPAMBOT. NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG. . .
posted by mk1gti at 4:07 PM on January 4, 2006


murdeRER, not murdered.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:07 PM on January 4, 2006


See it's true, they always hold out for Christmas before they go.
posted by geoff. at 4:09 PM on January 4, 2006


I hope he dies.
posted by interrobang at 4:12 PM on January 4, 2006


Until everyone of his generation goes, there's not even a chance for peace.

I knew his previous episode was not at all as unserious as they said--he's massively overweight and not young at all.

I've recently turned against a 2-state solution. There has to be one secular country with full equality for all people within its borders.
posted by amberglow at 4:12 PM on January 4, 2006


Apparently, it's among the most dangerous of all types of strokes, with half of victims dying within a month.

You know what the Israeli rightwingers used to say about Arafat while he was alive -- that true peace would have to wait until Arafat died? Well, I guess that kinda cuts both ways, don't it...?!

I, for one, think that for Sharon to die now would be fitting, and arguably a death with far more glory than the man deserves. Considering the alternative of serious, longterm brain damage, we should perhaps consider Sharon's family, and wish for a quick, painless death.

Perhaps he and Arafat can spend the afterlife together, in whatever way that the powers that be find most appropriate. Insha'Allah.

Humanity doesn't need more phony peacemakers with blood on their hands. Let's give someone else a chance!
posted by insomnia_lj at 4:13 PM on January 4, 2006


I've recently turned against a 2-state solution. There has to be one secular country with full equality for all people within its borders.

Amen.

If I remember correctly, Chomsky's critical of the two-state "solution" also.
posted by Wataki at 4:14 PM on January 4, 2006


I think that Ariel deserves as much: Insha'Allah.
posted by mk1gti at 4:16 PM on January 4, 2006


OOOOOOOO....SNAP!
posted by nevercalm at 4:17 PM on January 4, 2006


I've recently turned against a 2-state solution. There has to be one secular country with full equality for all people within its borders.

Sounds pretty naive. Think about the neighbours and the region's tendency to shoot for self-determination in light of the arbitrary borders.

Sooner or later the arab portion will want to break off, or one side or other will be politically ascendent and molest the other side, etc.

Forced secularization and integration is very, very rarely the answer.

PessimistPolSciStudentFilter..
posted by Firas at 4:19 PM on January 4, 2006


I don't like what's going on in this thread.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:19 PM on January 4, 2006


his death now would send shockwaves through the Israeli political establishment and through the region

Surely his inactive status has done much of that already (?).
posted by Smedleyman at 4:20 PM on January 4, 2006


There has to be one secular country with full equality for all people within its borders.

Will the people of this nation ride in carts drawn by the unicorns, or will they saddle up the unicorns and ride them directly?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 4:21 PM on January 4, 2006


Sharon is one of those people who makes me wish I believed in Hell.
posted by interrobang at 4:21 PM on January 4, 2006


ParisParamus: Given that you called for the assasination of a democratically-elected President, your words in this thread ring hollow. You are trolling.

Almost all the regular and prolific posters know you as a worthless troll and have independently decided "I will not take the thing from your hand" is the best approach to dealing with you on MeFi.

I encourage everyone to avoid feeding the troll. It's what keeps him coming back.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:24 PM on January 4, 2006


will they saddle up the unicorns and ride them directly?
-----------------------
My guess is, that in order to avoid falling off the unicorn they will ride where it is most secure: while mounting the unicorn's horn. . . Painful, to be sure, but no way to fall off then. . . Kind of like Mr. Garrison's infinite motion machine on South Park ...
posted by mk1gti at 4:25 PM on January 4, 2006


Arafat, Sharon ...a piece of history that sucked incredibly too much. Hopefully we'll learn from their errors.
posted by elpapacito at 4:26 PM on January 4, 2006


And, just to recap . . .

PLEASE IGNORE THE PARIS PARAMUS SPAMBOT. NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG. . .
posted by mk1gti at 4:26 PM on January 4, 2006


Will the people of this nation ride in carts drawn by the unicorns, or will they saddle up the unicorns and ride them directly?

I have it on good authority that the 72 virgins assigned to each man will be trained to assemble the unicorns into a cart OR saddle configuration depending on your choice.
posted by Krrrlson at 4:30 PM on January 4, 2006


I'll add I wouldn't gloat over anyone's death no matter how much I disagree with them.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:31 PM on January 4, 2006


Paris who? Hilton?
posted by loquacious at 4:31 PM on January 4, 2006


P.S. mk1gti, could you please put your throbbing cock back in your pants? TIA.
posted by Krrrlson at 4:32 PM on January 4, 2006


Good riddance. I mean, we like it when terrorists get theirs, right?

Ah, remember all the celebration when Arafat went?
posted by Decani at 4:33 PM on January 4, 2006


I've always thought Ariel was a girl's name. Same thing for Sharon.

Beyond that, if the reins of power being handed off help propel the peace process along, then his (eventual) death won't be in vain.

And gloating about sick and dying people is incredibly crass. You can privately think what a great thing this might be for you but saying it publicly makes you an ass. Don't put the ass in crass.
posted by fenriq at 4:34 PM on January 4, 2006


he's massively overweight and not young at all.

"Meanwhile, last month the prime minister of the Fat Denial Society came in for a rude awakening. The only one who didn't know Ariel Sharon was too fat was apparently Ariel Sharon. An adviser, Asaf Shariv, was quoted as saying that the 77-year-old Israeli prime minister 'has been told he needs to go on a diet since 1965.'

Sharon's bulbous belly has long been a symbol of Middle East might. Then on Dec. 18, he was stricken with a mild stroke.

The Israeli government guards Sharon's actual weight more closely than where they keep the missiles. Still, the Israeli media estimate put the 5-foot-7 leader's heft in the range of 258 to 313 pounds." [Chicago Sun-Times | January 2, 2006]
posted by ericb at 4:35 PM on January 4, 2006


Even if I killed them.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:38 PM on January 4, 2006


There will never be a one-state solution. Israel is Israel, legally having come into existencez. The arabs fought 5 wars to eliminate Israel. You think Israel will now consent to be a minority group within a large Palestinian group? If Abbas is unable to do something about his "militant,s" then there willnot even be a two-state solution.
posted by Postroad at 4:39 PM on January 4, 2006


You mean the same Sharon that after achieving much of what he desired, tore apart the much-maligned Likud party in favor of creating a centrist party in Israel more willing to compromise?

Maybe this kills my left-wing credentials, but the joy at Sharon's misfortune is being petty. He's no saint, but do you realize what instability can bring at this time?

Seriously, use a little bit of compassion and logic here.
posted by Saydur at 4:40 PM on January 4, 2006


This is bad news for peace. He may have been part of the problem, OK much of the problem, starting with his trip to the Temple Mount, yet as of the last year or so he has been the very best chance for leading Israel toward peace. I think in his old age he finally got it, and given his place in Israeli politics he could move the conservatives. I hope he comes out of this.
posted by caddis at 4:45 PM on January 4, 2006


Agree with caddis. My guess is if you ask most pro-peace Israelis, they'd probably agree too. Many who virulently detested Sharon just a few years ago came to back him strongly recently.
posted by thirdparty at 4:49 PM on January 4, 2006


Meh, another baby-bombing war criminal who wasn't afraid "to compromise morality for the greater good."
(Quote appropriated from b_thinky.)

Poetic justice - he and Arafat sharing the common demise of death by stroke.
Thug Life indeed

Nice to see them find some common ground at last.
(. . . if you're thinking Ramallah - you're wrong.)
posted by isopraxis at 4:53 PM on January 4, 2006


So, who's this Sharon chick and why should I care?
posted by nevercalm at 4:55 PM on January 4, 2006


Boy, I wish I had the huge brass balls it takes to snipe at someone's stroke via pseudonym on the internet.

If I could do that, by god, I'm sure it would make me feel like a big powerful man.

Anyway, I personally can't wait for the hard right to ascend power. Have they set a date for the settlers to move back in?1

1sarcasm.
posted by SweetJesus at 4:55 PM on January 4, 2006


He may have been part of the problem...yet as of the last year or so he has been the very best chance for leading Israel toward peace. - posted by caddis

Could be why he is on his way out as well. The bribe allegations as well.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:56 PM on January 4, 2006


Sharon
And just as she was getting her life back together again.
She has as much bad luck as that Jordan.
posted by Blue Stone at 4:57 PM on January 4, 2006


Say what you will about Sharon's tenure

His tenure was smelly, has bad teeth and wears a pocket protector.
posted by shmegegge at 4:58 PM on January 4, 2006


*polishes huge brass balls*

The guy intentionally visited the Temple Mount to get the Palestineans pissed off, sparking a renewal of violence so that he could systematically start killing them, then erected a Berlin Wall-esque "fence" to keep them ghettoized. Fuck him.
posted by interrobang at 4:58 PM on January 4, 2006


(Obviously I've got Yitzhak Rabin in mind and I've got my paranoia signal boosted)
posted by Smedleyman at 5:00 PM on January 4, 2006


MeTa
posted by delmoi at 5:11 PM on January 4, 2006


But SweetJesus (great /nick) . . . to resettle would mean having to repaint the big wall a monolithic grey again. Those hard-right zionists wouldn't like the artwork much at all.
posted by isopraxis at 5:12 PM on January 4, 2006


Postroad - wasn't that basically the argument against ending apartheid?
posted by Artw at 5:18 PM on January 4, 2006


Executive power temporarily transferred to his deputy as doctors operate to drain blood from his brain.

I can help.
posted by brain_drain at 5:18 PM on January 4, 2006


I encourage everyone to avoid feeding the troll. It's what keeps him coming back.

What keeps him coming back is mathowie's decision that he should be allowed back. As such, I say nothing to ParisParamus, and say "Fuck you too, mathowie"
posted by I Love Tacos at 5:21 PM on January 4, 2006


Did anyone else thing of good ol Al Haig when they read about the temporary transfer of power?
posted by fenriq at 5:22 PM on January 4, 2006


Will the people of this nation ride in carts drawn by the unicorns, or will they saddle up the unicorns and ride them directly?

Well, we, who are so big on exporting democracy, can stop giving billions a year to Israel until they set up a real democracy, for just one action that would make it happen.
posted by amberglow at 5:23 PM on January 4, 2006


So... a real democracy would be one where they as an electorate are heavily outnumbered as a voting block by people that hate their guts? Wow, can't see anything going wrong there. And, of course, the Jews always get treated so nicely in countries where they are an ethnic minority.
posted by unreason at 5:27 PM on January 4, 2006


Like America?
posted by Artw at 5:37 PM on January 4, 2006


So... a real democracy would be one where they as an electorate are heavily outnumbered as a voting block by people that hate their guts?

Um, yes? WTF planet are you from? Most Americans hate pedophiles, and yet America is still a democracy. In the past there were plenty of white people in the US who hated blacks, yet most people consider America a democracy.
posted by delmoi at 5:39 PM on January 4, 2006


Anyway, Arab Israelis are still going to outnumber the Jews in 50 years or so, at the present birthrates, wether you let the Palestinians vote or not.
posted by delmoi at 5:40 PM on January 4, 2006


You are completely right unreason. True unmitigated democracy is the most direct threat to hegemonic rule as we know it. The unwashed masses know nothing of what it means to govern.

And the ironic thing about being a minority is . . . you have less than 50% of the pie, don'tcha?

And I'm pretty sure Sharon is/was familiar with the pie.

mmm. pie.
posted by isopraxis at 5:45 PM on January 4, 2006


Honestly though, I don't think democracy is a good idea at all. Look at George W.

I think you should need to have standards for voters. Too bad the sound ruined that by having it be racist.
posted by delmoi at 5:50 PM on January 4, 2006


by sound I mean "south" of course.
posted by delmoi at 5:50 PM on January 4, 2006


*winks knowingly* at delmoi
Its heg-e-mony. Democracy is just the word they use to get you to buy it.
posted by isopraxis at 5:53 PM on January 4, 2006


When it is sadi the arabs will outnumber the Jews, what is referred to is the occupied areas as well as Israel. In the state itself, the Arabs wioll not outnumber the Jews for lord knows how long...and it needs to be noted that given a choice, as is the case, Israeli Arabs do not want to leave Israel for Arab areas. Wonder why?

A comment noted that Sharon and Araafat both died (or will have died) of strokes. Where is the evidence that the Arab leader died of a stroke?
posted by Postroad at 5:58 PM on January 4, 2006


I will refrain from commenting further in thread, other than to say Sharon has been a great, courageous leader, and I hope the future gives Israel (and us) leaders who can stand up to the feckless, corrupt forces of evil that want to destroy Israel and, more generally, Western notions of decency.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:04 PM on January 4, 2006


I detest using little internet abbreviations, so I will refrain from using them other than to say that I am sincerely rolling on the floor laughing.
posted by shmegegge at 6:06 PM on January 4, 2006


Israel is Israel, legally having come into existencez.
posted by Postroad at 7:39 PM EST

Legal? I think some people might disagree with that.
posted by a3matrix at 6:06 PM on January 4, 2006


The existence of any nation is meta-legal.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 6:11 PM on January 4, 2006


I was just the other week talking to a guy who was coming back to visit from Jerusalem, where he'd been living for a few years. He remarked that when Sharon had his initial stroke, the "breaking news" reports made it seem more immediately-life-threatening.

How ironic, he said, that he'd ever think that "the death of Ariel Sharon would be a major blow to the Middle East peace process."
posted by mkultra at 6:11 PM on January 4, 2006


I do think that Sharon has made genuine efforts to make his legacy something other than just his military prowess in support of evil. Maybe he became more religious. Regardless, progress was being made, and his removal from power at this point is unfortunate.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 6:13 PM on January 4, 2006


So, you guys are saying that in a true democracy there should be no protection for minorities? Good to know. As to your comparisons between Israelis and child molesters, I'll refrain from commenting. I'll just say this. If Israel and Palestine were combined into one state, within a few years Jews would be forced into ghettos, and shot if they left them. You know it, and I know it.
posted by unreason at 6:14 PM on January 4, 2006


You know it, and I know it.

Both of those statements are in some way inaccurate.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 6:16 PM on January 4, 2006


If Israel and Palestine were combined into one state, within a few years Jews would be forced into ghettos, and shot if they left them. You know it, and I know it.

I don't know this. How do you know this?
posted by soiled cowboy at 6:16 PM on January 4, 2006


If Israel and Palestine continue to exist as one and 1/2 a state, the Palestinians will continue to be forced into ghettos, and shot when they leave them. You know it, and I know it.
posted by soiled cowboy at 6:18 PM on January 4, 2006


Legal? I think some people might disagree with that.

Oh, give me a break. Some people might disagree with everything. The land had previously been under the control of Britain, and Britain blessed the formation. The UN blessed it. Yeah, its "international law", but if you don't believe in that, then its not illegal either.
posted by gsteff at 6:19 PM on January 4, 2006


*pours another drink for postroad*

Unreason, I know nothing
and I'm pretty sure I know what you know.
posted by isopraxis at 6:20 PM on January 4, 2006


If Israel and Palestine suffered an alien invasion, all the earthlings will be forced into cyberghettos and vapourised when they leave them. You know it, and I know it.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 6:21 PM on January 4, 2006


So, you guys are saying that in a true democracy there should be no protection for minorities? Good to know.

Ok, now you're just trolling. We didn't say that, we just said that in true democracy minorities shouldn't have the particular protection of not allowing majorities to vote and locking them up in Bantustans.

I'm curious to know what you think you're accomplishing by making such idiotic claims. Anyone can go read what we wrote and see quite clearly how it differs from what you just said.
posted by delmoi at 6:22 PM on January 4, 2006


Tell me any Western leader of recent history who could/would treat the behavior of the PLO any differently?
posted by docpops at 6:22 PM on January 4, 2006


That's a, um, interesting summation of events.
posted by Artw at 6:24 PM on January 4, 2006


I don't know this. How do you know this?
posted by soiled cowboy at 9:16 PM EST on January 4 [!]


Because it is what happens most times when Jews are an ethnic minority in a country. Because throughout the Middle East there is tremendous hatred against the Isrealis, and that hatred won't magically disapear the minute Palestine gets a state. You can't have a country comprised of two groups that hate each other that much. Palestine needs to be a nation of its own, not one lumped together with the Israelis.
posted by unreason at 6:24 PM on January 4, 2006


Tell me any Western leader of recent history who could/would treat the behavior of the PLO any differently?

Martin Luther King.
posted by delmoi at 6:24 PM on January 4, 2006


Palestine needs to be a nation of its own, not one lumped together with the Israelis.

That's pretty unlikely.
posted by Artw at 6:25 PM on January 4, 2006


So, you guys are saying that in a true democracy there should be no protection for minorities? Good to know.

Ok, now you're just trolling. We didn't say that, we just said that in true democracy minorities shouldn't have the particular protection of not allowing majorities to vote and locking them up in Bantustans.


I never said that minorities should be able to prevent the majority from voting. What I said was that in such a state, anti Jewish laws will inevitably be passed by the Arab majority. The deep South in the US provides ample proof of what happens when minorities get laws passed against them. There is only one solution, and that is for each side to get its own country.
posted by unreason at 6:26 PM on January 4, 2006


You can't have a country comprised of two groups that hate each other that much.

You could have said the same thing about the black southafricans, and you'd be wrong. I think the majority of palistinians would be happy to live in harmony with the Jews. Not all of them, but most of them.
posted by delmoi at 6:26 PM on January 4, 2006


I feel very bad to be so happy

WTF
posted by zouhair at 6:27 PM on January 4, 2006


Because it is what happens most times when Jews are an ethnic minority in a country.

Yeah, as a Brit I need to get back to my ghetto before the curfew.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 6:27 PM on January 4, 2006


Oh and postroad, I was just spitballing. My claim that Arafat died of a stroke is totally unsubstantiated and my snark about common ground between him and sharon dosen't mean d.i.c.k.
posted by isopraxis at 6:27 PM on January 4, 2006


Yeah, as a Brit I need to get back to my ghetto before the curfew.

Everyone knows that communist Europe is deeply antisemitic!
posted by Artw at 6:29 PM on January 4, 2006


I believe in broad, devolved, secular government, without the forced removal of any peoples, but in this case I don't think it's realistic. Sharon has of late been doing the best he can for peace.
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome at 6:31 PM on January 4, 2006


I never said that minorities should be able to prevent the majority from voting. What I said was that in such a state, anti Jewish laws will inevitably be passed by the Arab majority. The deep South in the US provides ample proof of what happens when minorities get laws passed against them. There is only one solution, and that is for each side to get its own country.

You know, like when we moved all the white people out of Georgia and gave it to the black people so they could have their own country. It worked for us. . .
posted by EarBucket at 6:49 PM on January 4, 2006


I hereby request the permission to violate Parisparsamus with a large wooden object labeled "Louisville Slugger".

All those who say yea, or nay?
posted by Balisong at 6:53 PM on January 4, 2006


nay, he's great fun.

He's like a pedophile-serial-killer-clown making balloon animals at a biker bar, like the one where pee-wee dances to tequilla.

out of the side of my mouth - I say we let him go!
posted by isopraxis at 6:56 PM on January 4, 2006


ANAL RAPE IS NEVER A JOKE, Balisong.

END PRISON RAPE TODAY!

/drunk.
posted by delmoi at 6:56 PM on January 4, 2006


If Israel and Palestine were combined into one state, within a few years Jews would be forced into ghettos, and shot if they left them. You know it, and I know it.

Unfortunately, this is true. The Arab states and their Palestinian pawns would be more than happy to see Israel "forced into the sea" as has been promised many a time.

The two-state solution, with strongly defended borders, represents the greatest opportunity for Middle East equilibrium, if not exactly peace.

The one-state solution is much more likely to lead to a second Shoah rather than any lasting peace (unless you consider a Final Solution to be a lasting peace of sorts).
posted by theorique at 6:59 PM on January 4, 2006


Let's look back over the first time a resolution was sought between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Rabin and Arafat attempted to resolve their differences and I remember that during that time it was viewed positively in much of the middle east. The same with Sadat in Egypt when he reached out to Begin. The downside was that extremists assasinated both Sadat and Rabin.

The important thing to remember is that there was a real desire to end all the bloodshed and create an environment where everyone could live in peace and I think that still exists now, in spite of people like Binyamin Netanyahu and his cohort is is presently in intensive care. Let's not forget that they single-handedly sabatoged the peace accords and Sharon's march into the Temple Mount area with the clear intent to provoke the Palestinians at a time when there was hope.

So let's try to focus on the possible outcome for this and keep our fingers crossed: a time when Palestinians can live without fear of Israeli military reprisals and Israelis can live without fear of suicide bombers in their cities and towns.

A time when extremists of whatever stripe will be disregarded and disallowed from ever influencing anyone about anything again.
posted by mk1gti at 7:05 PM on January 4, 2006


You're damn lucky, Paris...
posted by Balisong at 7:05 PM on January 4, 2006


I've never liked Sharon, but I did admire his decision to pull out of Gaza. This was a significant reversal for the man who is often referred to as the father of the Israeli settlement movement. Pulling out of Gaza was an enormous political risk for him. I don't think this excuses his past actions, but I do think that it was a step in the right direction.

Whatever happens to him, I hope that Israel continues to dismantle the settlements.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:05 PM on January 4, 2006


the 2-state solution as it exists now is a crock, with walls and pockets and all the vital resources in Israel's hands. It's completely unfair and was never even intended to be fair. It's not even contiguous, creating Berlin walls all over the place.

The only hope for the future is for Palestinians and Israelis to live together or for some multinational force to come in and make them do so. So much fear and hatred disappears when people get to know each other--something that rarely happens now. Not every Palestinian wants Israel to disappear, and not every Israeli sees Palestinians as terrorists and suicide bombers.
posted by amberglow at 7:09 PM on January 4, 2006


I agree amberglow, I remember when the peace process was moving along smoothly that there was quite a bit of openness and hope on both sides, but especially for the palestinians. None of them in power wanted to do anything to screw it up and everything to make it work. There was sincerity there, and also a sense of resignation. They were largely powerless, just as they are now and dependent on the good will of Israeli and it's government and the U.S. and it's government. Instead Sharon and Bibi had to roar around like Israeli Hell's Angels and upset the damn apple cart. And so here we are; Sharon perhaps somewhat reformed and in the process (perhaps?) of instituting a peacemaking process that he could have done many, many years ago with much less expense incurred both monetarily and in human lives.
posted by mk1gti at 7:15 PM on January 4, 2006


Unreason is a racist. He not only believes it's impossible for Arabs to live in harmony with Jews, he believes that Jews cannot live in peace anywhere they are a minority, because all the world's races can't help but eating Jews, because they are so scrumptious.

ALL HUMANS ARE EQUALY TASTY and that's the truth!
posted by delmoi at 7:16 PM on January 4, 2006


This is one of those threads not to be posted in, I know, but for those interested in the actual political ramifications of Sharon's stroke:

Sharon recently started a new political party, Kadima, which was gathering huge momentum for the upcoming elections. Kadima was clearly devoted to a two-state solution. But Sharon was hospitalized before Kadima was able to select its candidates, and by the bylaws of the party, that is a problem. So while the current government is not going to have any issues of succession, the future of the political party is up in the air. It is a delicate time for the prospects of peace, as repeated rocket fire from Gaza is getting closer and closer to doing major damage as Gaza gets increasingly lawless, which could move the electorate to the right (to see more on the perspectives of Israelis on the events in Gaza, see here). Sharon was so popular that he could have kept momentum up, but now it is unclear what will happen.

Sorry, just thought a little content would be helpful.
posted by blahblahblah at 7:19 PM on January 4, 2006


delmoi, I'm afraid I can't agree with you re the humans thing, not all humans are equally tasty.

Everyone knows the free-range humans taste best of all while the starved and underfed humans are rather stringy and tasteless. That's all I'm sayin'. But they're all quite good with fava beans and a nice chianti . . .
posted by mk1gti at 7:21 PM on January 4, 2006


I hereby request the permission to violate Parisparsamus with a large wooden object labeled "Louisville Slugger".

All those who say yea, or nay?
posted by Balisong at 9:53 PM EST on January 4 [!]


I always have this impression that those who talk tough about physical violence over the internets usually are the recipients, not the providers, of physical intimidation in real life.
posted by caddis at 7:23 PM on January 4, 2006


Well, yes, I didn't mean that any two specific humans are equally tasty, I just meant that on average, the tastiness of two different people of different races can't be predicted based on race alone.
posted by delmoi at 7:24 PM on January 4, 2006


Ehud Olmert takes over as temporary prime minister while Sharon incapacitated.

Let's all warm up our googling and find out the skinny on Ehud. Is he a good bet to permanently replace Sharon? Who is the most likely candidate?
posted by mk1gti at 7:31 PM on January 4, 2006


OK, Caddis, you got me, I'm a catcher, not a pitcher. Sorry for the let down.
posted by Balisong at 7:34 PM on January 4, 2006


i think Netanyahu, unfortunately. And i'd heard that Kadima was more a one-man band than a real party.
posted by amberglow at 7:34 PM on January 4, 2006


Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of amberglow. An extremist's extremist. . .
posted by mk1gti at 7:37 PM on January 4, 2006




Here's the wiki on Ehud
posted by mk1gti at 7:43 PM on January 4, 2006


Well, there is always this from yesterday:

"The Haaretz-Channel 10 survey also sought to examine the public's opinion regarding the credibility of the leaders of the three major parties, employing the following question: "From which of the three would you purchase a used car?"

Based on the responses, none of the three - Sharon, Amir Peretz or Benjamin Netanyahu - evoke much enthusiasm or faith as vendors in the used-car market. Some 20.5 percent said they would buy a used car from Sharon; 17 percent would purchase one from Peretz; and 16.5 percent would buy from Netanyahu. But 32 percent of the respondents said they wouldn't trust any of the three when it comes to a subject as sensitive as one's private vehicle."

The last polls still had many more people voting for Labor than Likud.
posted by blahblahblah at 7:44 PM on January 4, 2006


blahblahblah writes "The last polls still had many more people voting for Labor than Likud."

But that's with Kadima in the running, right?
posted by mr_roboto at 7:48 PM on January 4, 2006


Reading more on Ehud he seems more like a mafia don than a potential prime minister. . . All those little scandals. . . tut tut tut . . . I don't think I would want to buy a used car from him either . . .
posted by mk1gti at 7:49 PM on January 4, 2006


delmoi, a lot of it has to do with the marinade...
posted by darkstar at 8:03 PM on January 4, 2006


D'oh. Sharon did offer a sort of crazy stability to the neighborhood. Kinda like the weird lady that lived three doors down from me and slept in a bed soaked with urine and feces. You always knew she was going to be crazy and over reach to kids walking home from school near her house, so you avoided her completely.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:04 PM on January 4, 2006


delmoi, curries work quite nicely too. Nothing like a good sauce.
posted by mk1gti at 8:06 PM on January 4, 2006


hmm, the consigliere to Sharon eh? He's not squeeky clean by any stretch, but perhaps his ideology indicates a more progressive political stance. I'm skeptical though - doubly so for a palm-greaser.

I'd be interested to see how Bushco plays his candidacy for PM. Five will get you ten that Bushco prefers Netanyahu's hard-right ticket.

And history has shown us that if anyone can clumsily catapult the cat out of the bag, its good ole Georgie dunderkopf.
posted by isopraxis at 8:10 PM on January 4, 2006


First post-op picture released:


posted by strawberryviagra at 8:13 PM on January 4, 2006


Yeah, I think you're right on with that one isopraxis, right-wing Israeli extremist or Isaeli mafia don. . . and the sock puppet in the white house. . .
posted by mk1gti at 8:15 PM on January 4, 2006


Dang, that's a pretty scary lookin' pic there strawberry. It hurts my retinas . . .
posted by mk1gti at 8:16 PM on January 4, 2006


Here's Bush at a press conference. Always good to keep things in perspective . . .
posted by mk1gti at 8:19 PM on January 4, 2006


well, If the sock puppet says "Ehud, you're doin a heckuva job" lookout. If he says "Ben - we'd like you to do a heckuva job" then I'm hoping Ehud gets it.

Tragic that my views on world leaders are directly inversely proportional to what Bushco sells.
posted by isopraxis at 8:20 PM on January 4, 2006


So apparently the operation shows that Sharon had a bunch of fat lipo'd away and was fused with a dalek.

Too bad. . . if he was all Dalek, he could have ran for president next term.
posted by isopraxis at 8:27 PM on January 4, 2006


Although in all honesty, diffrent cultural groups probably eat diffrent foodstuffs, which in turn would effect their taste.
posted by delmoi at 8:49 PM on January 4, 2006


If you click here and press reload you can see srawberry viagra's image.
posted by delmoi at 8:51 PM on January 4, 2006


Postroad : "it needs to be noted that given a choice, as is the case, Israeli Arabs do not want to leave Israel for Arab areas. Wonder why?"

Hmm, because every other day the Israeli Army enter these areas shooting anything that moves and demolishing houses, while the Air Force throws a missile or two for good measure? Given a choice, I wouldn't like to move there too.

In my view, Ariel Sharon is, like Arafat, a typical Middle East 20th century warrior - his life has lows (like Sabra and Shatila and the recent Wall of Shame) and highs (like the also recent Gaza pullout and almost conquering Egypt in 73). I wasn't happy when Arafat died and I am not happy as Sharon dies, but as noted elsewhere, maybe a new generation of leader will be able to discover a better solution than the mere standoff the generation that is dying manage to build and maintain for more than 50 years now.
posted by nkyad at 8:52 PM on January 4, 2006


Just imagine Davros, it's probably less hideous.
posted by strawberryviagra at 9:11 PM on January 4, 2006


fer cripes sakes, get some web space if you want to play with img tags
posted by quonsar at 9:29 PM on January 4, 2006


I am an Israeli and a leftist, and I am very saddened to see MeFites congratulate each other over the death of Sharon. Especially as most of you haven't a clue what the political ramifications of his death are. Amir Peretz's ratings have been stagnating, while the new, more extremist than ever Likud under Netanyahu's leadership seems to be gaining strength. The death of Sharon could mean the end of the Israeli center bloc. I hope Peretz wins this coming election, but I'm not about to toast to the death of a hemorrhaging septuagenarian.
posted by ori at 9:51 PM on January 4, 2006


Only one mention of Sabra/Shatila so far. Now that he's not acting in the capacity of prime minister, is he still immune to prosecution over the slaughter of 2000 unarmed refugees? He is? Darn.

It's frightening that a situation can get to a point where a world leader, a member of the UN, can inch in the direction of what is required by international law, while naturally ruling out the possibility of full compliance, and get called a hero.

As has been mentioned, the scariest thing about this is that he will be replaced by someone even more Sharon than he is.

Yes, a man and his family are suffering. It's no reason to ignore the facts. His suffering won't be increased by people pointing out that he is a criminal and a murderer, but perhaps others' suffering, in the future, can be.
posted by Wataki at 9:56 PM on January 4, 2006


This just came across the AP news wire: 12 of Sharon's 13 brain cells have been found alive!
posted by spock at 10:03 PM on January 4, 2006


Ori: right there with you.
posted by kosem at 10:11 PM on January 4, 2006


ori, we were worse with Reagan, who was ours (and don't worry--we'll say kaddish when he goes--no one is congratulating anyway)
posted by amberglow at 10:13 PM on January 4, 2006


Hey quonsar, scrolling that image up and down produces a very cool illusion.
That podium--it vibrates!
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:16 PM on January 4, 2006


Ori, I can understand your candor in the matter. But as a pragmatist I must express that unfulfilled contingencies are no avenue for present discussion. i.e. if my aunt had balls, she'd be my uncle . . . "If Sharon were still alive, peace would have a chance." Such romantic thinking is completely fallicious.

The hand we are dealt now does not include Sharon, so pragmatically what is the best we can hope for? In my case I hope for a peacemaker, someone willing to listen and embrace, to dissolve the differences with the premise that we are all human beings and that we mostly want those whom we love to prosper. Its no differen't between any race or kind, although there are those clowns who emphasize the differences (wink Parisparamus).

Mostly I just want everyone to put the damn guns and tanks and bombs down, stop the bulldozers and have dinner and end up realizing that the 'other' side ain't all that bad.

But its not going to happen.
Is it?

Oh God Oh God Oh God, I hope it does.
posted by isopraxis at 10:58 PM on January 4, 2006


gsteff wrote: The land had previously been under the control of Britain, and Britain blessed the formation.

The U.S. was under the control of Britain too, remember? So was India. And lots of other countries. You're saying that everything Britain decides to do to countries they control is morally just? Did they ask the Palestinians if they minded having their country taken over?
posted by sacrilicious at 11:08 PM on January 4, 2006


Of course I mean 'alive' in the functional intent and purposes of the arm of the people and the ability of an individual to fulfill those wishes. People are poorly represented by anyone who'se engaged in trepanation to keep their basic life-functions operating. Not that there is anything wrong with that. . .
posted by isopraxis at 11:14 PM on January 4, 2006


Man, this is the best and worst of the web all wrapped up in one post.

I'm glad/sorry I posted it.
posted by LondonYank at 11:56 PM on January 4, 2006


I'm not doing a jig here, but I'm not the least bit saddened by some war criminal's death. I felt the same way when Arafat finally kicked the bucket.

[insert "Meet the new boss..." lyrics]
posted by Devils Slide at 12:03 AM on January 5, 2006


best kind of post LondonYank.
the best, can only result in a bitter-sweet resolve to change it all.
The worst. . . Well it desires mostly to stay the same.

And if you hadn't done it, someone else would have and with much more inflamitory results i'm sure.

Just think, Sharon's enjoying the extended remix of Dumbo's Pink Elephants on Parade.

here they come, here they come
pink elephants on parade.

(apologies to all teh gay republicans. Evanizer, Sharon says its good that you're on sabbatical. You need a break from your bourgeouis dalliances.)
posted by isopraxis at 12:19 AM on January 5, 2006


I think I was expecting this since Shimon Peres joined Sharon's party. I know an albatross when I see one...
posted by Skeptic at 1:24 AM on January 5, 2006


And if you hadn't done it, someone else would have and with much more inflamitory results i'm sure.

Fantastic reason to make a post. I take it you're new, huh?
posted by gtr at 1:37 AM on January 5, 2006


ABC just had an impressively fair and complete retrospective of Sharon. Including Sabra and Shatila and his Temple Mound walk. Good.
posted by sacrilicious at 3:25 AM on January 5, 2006


That podium--it vibrates!

You think he'd be smiling more, then.
posted by eriko at 5:28 AM on January 5, 2006


I really don't get why people had faith that Sharon would even be able or willing to help the situation, or be moderate, given his past activities over so many decades. What would that faith be based on? Because he kicked out illegal settlers from some areas? Because he built a wall?
posted by amberglow at 7:06 AM on January 5, 2006


Just wait till Thatcher dies...
posted by Artw at 7:55 AM on January 5, 2006


The only way I would believe Sharon had any real desire to reform anything is if he had met personally with the palestinian leaders and worked with them (rather than against them) to resolve these issues. Instead it was always about bluff and bluster and murdering by proxy (Israeli military and air force). If you kill the leadership of an opposition, one shouldn't be surprised that conditions deteriorate into anarchy, which is largely what has occured in Gaza and the West Bank. There is no more PLO, only armed gangs with an agenda. Try working with that . . .
posted by mk1gti at 8:02 AM on January 5, 2006


Delmoi - I'd have thought you'd have included a link to this.

To Serve Man.

Apparently the marinade DOES make a difference. But don't overcook.
posted by JB71 at 8:42 AM on January 5, 2006


Ahhh, you found my favorite site to 'serve mankind' . . .
posted by mk1gti at 9:21 AM on January 5, 2006


God did it.
posted by Otis at 12:42 PM on January 5, 2006


God did it.
Well, there you go. . . Move along, nothing to see here. Not unless you want to be struck down from the heavens . . . . Now move along you heathen! Fornicators and Idolators all!
posted by mk1gti at 1:48 PM on January 5, 2006


Legal? I think some people might disagree with that.

Oh, give me a break. Some people might disagree with everything. The land had previously been under the control of Britain, and Britain blessed the formation. The UN blessed it. Yeah, its "international law", but if you don't believe in that, then its not illegal either.


That sets a dangerous precedent. The "land" was a country prior to Britains colonization wasn't it? Or was it just empty waiting for western enlightenment.
What if they had chosen to cut out a chunk of India or Australia or Canada? Actually it would have been interesting had they done so.
Ah well, hindsight is always 20/20.

The UN blessed it? Who the fuck is the UN? They couldn't bless a glass of water without spilling it. And what right do they have to go nation creating?

There will be resentment regarding Israel long after we are all dead.
posted by a3matrix at 2:21 PM on January 5, 2006


While I have no liking for Sharon, the loss of his his "only Nixon could go to China" role is going to cause problems, this is not a good thing.
posted by Mr T at 3:20 PM on January 5, 2006


The "land" was a country prior to Britains colonization wasn't it?

No, it wasn't. Prior to British rule, it was part of the Ottoman Empire. But before that, ...

It wasn't either. It was part of the Arabian Empire under the control of the Mamelukes. But before that, surely ...

It still wasn't, but that era's pretty complicated and well beyond the scope of a snarky rejoinder.
posted by boaz at 4:36 PM on January 5, 2006


(CNN) Television evangelist Pat Robertson suggested Thursday that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine retribution for the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, which Robertson opposed....

Robertson spokeswoman Angell Watts said of people who criticized the comments: "What they're basically saying is, 'How dare Pat Robertson quote the Bible?'"

posted by R. Mutt at 5:44 PM on January 5, 2006


Robertson definitely needs to be next--enough with his shit.
posted by amberglow at 7:58 PM on January 5, 2006


Elsewhere in the "how dumb is he" column, consider this: the two Chief Rabbis of Israel blanketed the air waves yesterday, elaborating upon the specific words and Biblical passages reserved for praying for the leader of the Jewish State. They unceasingly begged people to keep Sharon's full Jewish name in their supplications. These are men of the greatest holiness and the highest theological sophistication. They are basing their conclusions on the work of other great holy men and imposing theological minds. But Pat Robertson -not a Jewish scholar, incidentally - apparently has enough confidence in his understanding of Jewish prayer, the Jewish State, and the numerological significance of various Pslams to conclude that God choose to deprive Israel of a beloved leader during a time of greatest peril. This is because Pat Robertson is an idiot.

Link
posted by Krrrlson at 9:57 PM on January 5, 2006


Ding dong. The wicked child-murdering scum is gone.
posted by kjc at 10:00 PM on January 5, 2006


wouldn't you know it? Robertson's been trying to build a theme park there! ...So what are the leaders of the Extreme Literalist Bible Movement doing when they're not dictating policy to the US government? Simple. They plan on building the ultimate theme park for Evangelical fundamentalist Christians - in Israel - on the banks of the Sea of Galilee.
The plan is for a $60 million, developed site on 125 acres of pristine Sea of Galilee waterfront. While the Israeli Tourism Ministry is involved, a majority of the funding is coming from none other than Christian Broadcast Network and 700 Club founder, Pat Robertson, and the National Association of Evangelicals, Ted Haggard. ...

posted by amberglow at 11:17 PM on January 5, 2006


He's dead, Jim. (Maybe.)
posted by LordSludge at 8:06 AM on January 6, 2006


CNN just had a doctor on saying they did a third operation and he's still alive (and lots of newspapers are saying he'll be a vegetable if he does survive)
posted by amberglow at 8:08 AM on January 6, 2006


It should be noted, btw, that Sharon is currently not the head of the government of Israel, and that his unconscious body is therefore arguably eligible for extradition to Belgium where it can stand trial for crimes against humanity. If you thought that the fight over Terri Schiavo's body was a laugh-riot, well, maybe we can do even better. It would be pretty amusing for Sharon to wake from his coma in a few years only to find himself in prison, after being tried "in abstentia", so to speak.

That said, I think that Robertson is right about one thing. I think it's fairly safe to say that Jesus would want the Israelis and the Palestinians to live together, without all the killing and ethnic purging, sharing the land in peace in a way not enforced by the tyranny of arms.

I mean, here was a guy who had the chance to proclaim himself the Messiah -- the king of the Jews. Jesus could've created an army of followers, kicked the Romans out, formed the State of Israel, and lived, well, like a God... but he didn't. Judas -- always the moneyman -- did the calculations, saw that he was going to get screwed on the deal, and promptly sold Jesus out for chump change.

It should be pointed out, however, that once Judas realized that he had betrayed Jesus, he threw the money he was paid away and hung himself in remorse. In that sense, Pat Robertson and his followers share Judas' beliefs on Israel, but lack his conviction.
posted by insomnia_lj at 8:45 AM on January 6, 2006


To amberglow's point, "...but I'm not dead yet!"
posted by LordSludge at 9:22 AM on January 6, 2006


and lots of newspapers are saying he'll be a vegetable if he does survive

Quick! Get the Bush Brothers and Operation Rescue on the case!
posted by TedW at 12:18 PM on January 6, 2006


No, it wasn't. Prior to British rule, it was part of the Ottoman Empire. But before that, ...

It wasn't either. It was part of the Arabian Empire under the control of the Mamelukes. But before that, surely ...

It still wasn't, but that era's pretty complicated and well beyond the scope of a snarky rejoinder.


Hmm... so prior to western colonization and empirical domination it was??? nomads ranging about? Unless it was devoid of human life you are going to have people say that it was theirs and was stolen from them.
posted by a3matrix at 1:22 PM on January 6, 2006


and lots of newspapers are saying he'll be a vegetable if he does survive

He wasn't one before?
posted by a3matrix at 1:23 PM on January 6, 2006


Hmm... so prior to western colonization and empirical domination it was???

Judea. Thanks for playing.
posted by boaz at 1:36 PM on January 6, 2006


"Judea. Thanks for playing."

Um... I think you're forgetting Phoenecia. Thanks for playing!
posted by insomnia_lj at 7:57 PM on January 6, 2006


And it should also be noted that the great empire-builder and law-giver Hammurabi extended Babylonian influence over the region during approximately 1700 BC.

Obviously, the state of Israel should be given back to its rightful rulers, the Iraqis.
posted by insomnia_lj at 8:01 PM on January 6, 2006


Um... I think you're forgetting Phoenecia. Thanks for playing!

I thought the game was to name the last time it was a sovereign nation, not random empires that controlled the region prior to that.

Ah well, us Americans are known for changing the rules as it suits us. Just ask the Sioux.
posted by boaz at 9:15 PM on January 6, 2006


Rough timeline here:

Approx. 2500 BC: Phoenicians and other seafaring city-states ruled the land of Canaan.

1700 BC: Babylonian domination over region.
1674 BC: Massive Asiatic invasion of region by a group the Egyptians called the Hyksos -- a Semitic tribe often thought to be of Hurrian or Hittite decent -- occupies northern Egypt and leaves Canaan an ethnically diverse land.

1500 BC: The Hyksos are violently driven out of Egypt during the reign of Ahmose. This is the only historical mass exodus known to have happened during the history of Egypt. It is unknown where the Hyksos went, however.

1360 BC: An Egyptian inscription from the Temple of Amun at Karnak from the time of Pharaoh Amenhotep III refers to the "Shasu of Yhw". The Shasu were a nomadic, monotheistic people who lived just south and east of the Dead Sea, from the fortress of Taru (Shtir?) to the borders of the land of Canaan.

1340 BC: Letters sent to Amenhotep IV from vassal kings in Canaan complained about attacks by tribes that appear to have been nomads or semi-nomads, who are identified by the Sumerian logogram SA.GAZ in some letters, and by the Akkadian name Hapiru in others. Some suspect that these people were the Hebrew, a group of people who are reportedly of Hurrian ancestry.

1290 BC: The Shasu are conquered by Seti I.

1150 BC: Records from the reign of Rameses III report that the Philistines lived in a series of city states along the coastal strip of southwestern Canaan.

1030 BC: According to Biblical legend, after spending forty years in the desert, the Jewish people attacked and conquered the Canaanites and Philistines, forming the state of Israel.

So, in other words, it sounds to me like the forefathers of the Israelis have a long history of taking what they want from other people. I would suspect most of our ancestors do, frankly.
posted by insomnia_lj at 9:41 PM on January 6, 2006


"I thought the game was to name the last time it was a sovereign nation, not random empires that controlled the region prior to that."

The Phoenicians weren't a random empire. They shared a common culture, albeit one that was later trampled on by its more powerful neighbors and large bands of roving tribes.

When you live in one of the major crossroads of the world, you've got to expect a fair degree of influx.
posted by insomnia_lj at 9:46 PM on January 6, 2006


Bush is backing Olmert
posted by amberglow at 11:07 AM on January 12, 2006


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