Boston Herald says, former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was remembered yesterday as a controversial figure who evoked strong emotions — a hard-charging military man who abruptly changed course, boldly taking the initial steps to establish Middle East peace.
Sharon, 85, died yesterday after eight years in a coma that was induced by a stroke. Boston Herald reports his body was to lie in state at the Knesset today before he is laid to rest at his ranch in southern Israel tomorrow. Vice President Joe Biden will lead the U.S. delegation.
“The world can look at him as a peacemaker, a leader that was looking to resolve differences between enemies,” said Ross Parker, a spokesman for the Consulate General of Israel to New England. Boston Herald recalls that Sharon forever will be remembered for withdrawing from Gaza in 2005, a pullout that freed 1.3 million Palestinians from Israeli military rule, Parker said.
Jeremy Burton, the executive director of Boston-based Jewish Community Relations Council, said Sharon was an “uncompromising advocate” for Israel who never shied away from military force. But, ultimately, the world will remember him for the 2005 withdrawal, Burton said, adds Boston Herald.