MK Moti Yogev
MK Moti Yogev Yoni Kempinski

Israel should honor deceased former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon by building new settlements in his memory, MK Moti Yogev (Jewish Home) said Sunday.

Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Yogev recalled Sharon’s long legacy as a military hero and political leader. “He was like a giant tree that gave protection. For his whole life, he protected the people and the state of Israel.”

He noted Sharon’s participation in fighting at Latrun, when Israeli forces pushed through toward Jerusalem during the War of Independence, and his command of Unit 101, which defended border towns from terrorist attacks. Sharon went on to play major roles in all of Israel's wars, from 1956 to the terror war of the 2000s, and during his second term as Prime Minister, created and carried out the Disengagement plan, which saw thousands of Israeli families expelled from Gaza and northern Samaria as part of a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from both regions.

The years that followed saw Gaza terrorists seize power and fire rockets at southern Israel, including the Sharon family farm, Yogev added.

“It pains me that toward the end of his active life, as prime minister, he caused heartbreak to so many, to thousands of [Gush Katif] residents and to hundreds of thousands, millions, of Israeli citizens who saw the destruction… and the heartbreak until today, because a solution was not found for every settler,” Yogev said, echoing Sharon’s promise in 2005 to resettle each uprooted Israeli citizen.

The heartbreak “could be what toppled this giant tree,” he added, in an apparent reference to Sharon’s health woes following the Disengagement, which culminated in a massive stroke that left him comatose until his death.

Now, he continued, Israel should honor Sharon’s legacy through construction. “To build new communities in Judea and Samaria bearing his name,” he declared. The new communities should have official government backing, he added.

Yogev urged the government “not to give in to those who are trying to play up the last part of his life,” but rather, “to focus on Arik Sharon, the man who built, who worked for Aliyah [immigration] and for settlement.”

“The memory of the good he did will be preserved,” Yogev concluded.