Sharon As Jailer Cole At Salon

Sharon as Jailer: Cole at Salon.com

My article on Ariel Sharon’s “gated community” approach to Israeli-Palestinian relations is out at Salon.com. Excerpt:

“Even as Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon stirs fitfully from his coma, in the aftermath of a massive stroke and several operations, Gazan militants with a bad aim have fired several Qassam rockets into Israel. Israel is now, and is likely to remain for some time, a dark postmodern terrain of wealthy fortress communities besieged by hopeless unemployed militants from isolated ghettos. This archipelago of anxiety, reminiscent of the noir science fiction film “Blade Runner,” is in some significant respects the creation and legacy of Sharon.

The conflict between Sharon and the Likud Party, with which he recently broke, was over two distinct far-right-wing visions of Israel. The somewhat messianic Likud is committed to completing the creeping dispossession of the Palestinians by relentlessly colonizing the West Bank and Gaza (at least), and refusing to accept any clear demarcation between Israeli territory and that of its neighbors. This 19th-century-style settler colonialism, reminiscent of the French in Algeria or the Italians in Eritrea, is so blatantly aggressive that it continually threatens to disrupt vital economic and diplomatic relations between Israel and Europe. Sharon saw that, but his rival Benjamin Netanyahu never could.”

Journalist Ian Williams has his own take on Ariel Sharon: “A hole where the heart should be.”

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