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Old 01-04-2006, 04:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffers serious stroke.. what now for Israel?

Israeli PM suffers serious stroke
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has suffered a "significant" stroke and is undergoing an operation, doctors at Jerusalem's Hadassah hospital say.

Officials said the 77-year-old leader was unconscious and had experienced a "massive" brain haemorrhage.

The Israeli leader's powers have been transferred to his deputy Ehud Olmert.

It is Mr Sharon's second stroke in just over two weeks. He was due to go into hospital on Thursday to undergo a minor heart operation.

He suffered a minor stroke on 18 December which doctors said could have been the result of a blood clot caused by the hole in the heart.

His doctors said he recovered fully then but required minor surgery for the heart problem.

Dr Shlomo Mor-Yosef, director of Hadassah Hospital, told reporters at the hospital on Wednesday night that Mr Sharon had "massive bleeding".

"A significant stroke means that there has been extensive damage," he said, but added that "does not necessarily mean that there will be a lasting effect."

Mr Sharon's press spokesman said he was currently undergoing an operation meant to stop the bleeding in his brain and contain the damage it had caused.

"The operation is going well and his condition is stable," spokesman Ranaan Gissin said around an hour and a half after the start of the operation.

He also said "this is a much more serious condition than the previous one", referring to Mr Sharon's first stroke.

"It's not a simple operation," he added.


The prime minister was carried to hospital in Jerusalem from his ranch in the Negev Desert in Israel's south by ambulance - a drive that normally takes more than an hour - instead of by helicopter.

Police and security agents set up a security cordon around the hospital, and also stationed themselves around Mr Olmert's residence in Jerusalem.

Ehud Olmert

Profile: Ehud Olmert

The BBC's James Reynolds, outside the hospital in Jerusalem, says however the situation develops now, even if Mr Sharon makes a recovery, there will be serious questions over his health and whether he can continue to lead the country.

US President George Bush said in a statement he shared the concerns of the Israeli people "and we are praying for his recovery".

Mr Sharon, who has been prime minister since 2001, is severely overweight.

He is planning to run for a third term in office under his newly-formed centrist party, Kadima, after quitting the ruling Likud party in November.

Polls have suggested his new party is in the lead ahead of the election in March.


However, David Horowitz, editor of the Jerusalem Post, said Mr Sharon's health problems changed the political landscape.

"I think already, even in the best case scenario, it's remade Israeli politics," he told BBC News.

He said Mr Olmert did not have the charisma of Mr Sharon or the ability to carry his controversial policies through.

Mr Sharon had indicated he would follow up the withdrawal of Israeli soldiers and settlers from Gaza with what he termed further major concessions - thought likely to involve handing parts of the West Bank over to Palestinians.

The Kadima party "is united solely around Sharon... it will be much less electable without Sharon," he said.

Mr Sharon's spokesman said ministers from the Likud party, who had been due to resign from the cabinet, had reversed their decision so they could help the government through this period.
This is quite a big deal for the Middle East. Ariel Sharon is the centerpiece for the Kadima party in Israel. If Ariel passes away (God forbid), this could mean that an opporunity for very new and very different politics for Israel, and this Palestine, and thus the whole of the Middle East. Opposition to the Kadima aprty includes Israelis and Palestinians who have different views on situations like that of the West Bank.

For ow let's continue hope and pray for stability in the region.
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Old 01-04-2006, 04:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yea this could suck. Aren't most of the leaders in Israel against the pullouts that have been happening lately, and returning of land, etc? This could turn out to be pretty bad and could set them back in time progress-wise a lot of ways.
We Must Dissent.
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Old 01-06-2006, 02:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
Deja Moo
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Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA
Locobot made an intriguing observation in the Robertson thread that I would like to continue here. He said:

Sharon is kind of interesting in that he was elected as an extremist, but became more moderate as time went on. Robertson is trying to make sure sure the next leader of Israel is a purebred ideologue without these tendancies toward peace.
I was not a great fan of Sharon, but my opinion began to change after the death of Arafat. It seemed that Sharon was at last willing to negotiate a lasting peace with the Palestinians. Even if he survives the strokes, it is doubtful that his health would allow him to return to government. My question is what form will the Israeli government take should Sharon be unable to return? I think Locobot may have nailed one distinct possibility, and it is not a happy one.


Axis of Fanatics: Netanyahu and Ahmadinejad
By Norman Solomon
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Friday 06 January 2006

With Ariel Sharon out of the picture, Benjamin Netanyahu has a better chance to become prime minister of Israel.

He's media savvy. He knows how to spin on American television. And he's very dangerous.

Netanyahu spent a lot of his early years in the United States. Later, during the 1980s, he worked at the Israeli Embassy in Washington and then became Israel's ambassador to the United Nations. By the time he moved up to deputy foreign minister in 1988, he was a star on US networks.

The guy is smooth - fluent in American idioms, telegenic to many eyes - and good at lying on camera. So, when Israeli police killed 17 Palestinians at Jerusalem's al-Aqsa Mosque in October 1990, Netanyahu led a disinformation blitz asserting that the Palestinians were killed after they'd rioted and pelted Jewish worshipers from above the Wailing Wall with huge stones. At the time, his fable dominated much of the US media. Later, even the official Israeli inquiry debunked Netanyahu's account and blamed police for starting the clash.

Now, with Netanyahu campaigning to win the Israeli election for prime minister in late March, he's cranking up rhetoric against Iran. His outlook seems to be 180 degrees from the world view of Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Yet in tangible political ways, they're well-positioned to feed off each other's fanaticism.

The election that gave the presidency of Iran to Ahmadinejad last summer was a victory for repressive fundamentalism. Results have included a negative trend for human rights in the country and a more bellicose foreign policy.

When Ahmadinejad declared in late October that "Israel must be wiped off the map," he did a big favor to the most militaristic of Israel's major politicians - Benjamin Netanyahu - who demanded that Prime Minster Sharon take forceful action against Iran. Otherwise, Netanyahu said in December, "when I form the new Israeli government, we'll do what we did in the past against Saddam's reactor, which gave us 20 years of tranquillity."

Netanyahu was referring to Israel's air attack on the Osirak reactor in June 1981 to prevent Iraq from developing nuclear weapons. But now the idea of bombing Iran is nonsensical even to many analysts who are enthusiastic about Israel's large nuclear arsenal, estimated at 200 warheads.

"Preemptive military attack is not a strategy for stopping the spread of nuclear weapons anymore; the changes in technology have made it obsolete." That's the current assessment from Larry Derfner, who often writes about Israeli politics for the Jerusalem Post. "Concealing a nuclear start-up is so much easier now than it was in 1981 and it's only going to get easier yet. Throwing fighter jets, commandos and whatnot at Iran is more than risky; it's almost certainly futile if not altogether impossible. Better for Israel and Israelis to forget about it and instead meet the Iranian threat by making this country's deterrent power even more intimidating than it already is."

Derfner added: "A nuclear Iran isn't a cause for indifference but neither is it a cause for dread and certainly not for recklessness. A nuclear Iran is actually acceptable. We can live with it. The truth is we've been living here with threats very much like it all along."

But Netanyahu has repeatedly emphasized that he wants to launch a military strike on Iran. "This is the Israeli government's primary obligation," he said. "If it is not done by the current government, I plan to lead the next government to stop the Iranians."

The specter of Netanyahu and Ahmadinejad fueling each other's madness as heads of state is frightening. In such a circumstance, the primary danger of conflagration would come from nuclear-armed Israel, not nuclear-unarmed Iran.

Candidate Netanyahu is a standard bearer for nuclear insanity. He's also an implacable enemy of basic Palestinian human rights. Many Israelis understand that Netanyahu is an extremist, and polls published on January 6 indicate that the post-Sharon era may not be as hospitable to Netanyahu as initially assumed.

For that matter, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may not serve out his full four-year term as Iran's president. Evidently the hardline clerics who dominate the Iranian government got more than they bargained for when they threw their weight behind the Ahmadinejad campaign last June. In recent months, Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, has shifted more power to the governmental Expediency Council headed by the shady magnate Hashemi Rafsanjani, a relatively moderate political hack who lost in the presidential runoff last year.

Ahmadinejad is good at making statements that cause international uproars, but he's having a difficult time exercising presidential leverage. "Even in Iran's mostly conservative parliament, the hard-line president has found himself unable to get traction," the Los Angeles Times noted on January 2. "In a first for the Islamic Republic, lawmakers turned down four of the ministers Ahmadinejad asked them to approve. It took him three months and four candidates to seat an oil minister. Some reformist legislators even agitated for hearings on the president's 'lack of political competence.'"

Using religious claims to bolster their quests for power, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Benjamin Netanyahu each stand to gain by pointing to the menacing fanaticism of the other. Yet many Iranians and Israelis recognize the grave dangers of such posturing.

As tensions mount and pressures intensify, the White House might end up acceding to an Israeli air attack on Iran. Or the Bush administration may prefer to launch its own air strike against Iran.

Iran. Israel. The United States. Each country has the very real potential to move in a better direction - away from lethal righteousness. But in every society, that will require more effective grassroots efforts for peace and justice.
Robertson's Revelation's based ideology just might get some traction, if Iran and Israel choose to face off.
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Old 01-06-2006, 03:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
follower of the child's crusade?
Sharon is the only man strong enough to bring peace at this time, but its too late now. Even if he can survive immediately, he can never hold public office again.
"Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate,
for all things are plain in the sight of Heaven. For nothing
hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain
without being uncovered."

The Gospel of Thomas
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Old 01-06-2006, 06:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
Deja Moo
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I don't believe he is the only man that can move forward the peace process. Netanyahu is possibly the worst man.
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Old 01-07-2006, 06:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: NYC
Originally Posted by Elphaba
I don't believe he is the only man that can move forward the peace process. Netanyahu is possibly the worst man.
I do not know if I would agree with that, there are other politicians who are worse then Netanyahu. But I do not agree with how the current process even worked out. The terrorist groups backed down, until they got some land, then they start up again with suicide bombs, and rocket attacks.

We do not hear of everytime a suicide bomber is stopped, but it happens WAY more often then we hear about. I think Palestinian authority has to now disarm the terrorist groups before you can even move forward. Just check the news for the last few months, how terrorist groups have taken over election halls, police stations (especially after the PA try to stop anything). And just this week when they closed the border to Egypt (where the weapons are being smuggled from), 300 men used a construction vehicle to break down the border.

I think the ball is in the PA court, now.
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Old 01-07-2006, 06:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
Deja Moo
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Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA
I agree, Xazy, but I don't believe the PA has even a minimum of control over the current violence. Time magazine had a recent article that described many of these groups inciting violence as nothing more than local thugs operating in the vacuum of a true Palestinian government. Their interests are more mafia-like than ideological, from what I have read.

How does the PA return that ball?
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Old 01-07-2006, 06:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Elphaba
I agree, Xazy, but I don't believe the PA has even a minimum of control over the current violence. Time magazine had a recent article that described many of these groups inciting violence as nothing more than local thugs operating in the vacuum of a true Palestinian government. Their interests are more mafia-like than ideological, from what I have read.

How does the PA return that ball?
I suspect that if most of the bombings and various attacks could be linked to the Palestinian government, that the US would step in and commit further warcrimes. As it is, the only defence Palestine has against Israel is terrorist cells. It's disgusting that Israel would treat Palestine the way it has been, and it's equally disgusting that Palestinians continue to commit cowardly attacks on Israeli civilians.

While Sharon was moderate in comparison with many politicians in Israel, he was by no means moderate compared to the rest of the world. He is considered responsible for several crimes against humanity, and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. His death/removel from office due to medical condition will create a vacume that has just as much potential for bad as for good.
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Old 01-07-2006, 07:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
Deja Moo
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Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA
Will, I think Sharon became more moderate after the death of Arafat. I suspect it will be best for both the Israeli's and the Palestinian's in the long term, that these two adversaries have moved on.

Stabilizing the Palestinian government should be a world-wide concern.
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