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www.wmfd.com - Ariel Sharon's actions in his military and politcial life meant he was largely respected in Israel, but very unpopular in the Arab world, as the former Israeli prime minister died Saturday, after spending eight years in a coma, and CNN's Senior International Ccorrespondent Ben Wedeman reports on the the complex legacy he leaves behind. }}" />

   
 
 
Both Sides Of Ariel Sharon's Complicated Image Explored

Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 1/14/2014

Ariel Sharon's actions in his military and politcial life meant he was largely respected in Israel, but very unpopular in the Arab world. The former Israeli prime minister died Saturday, after spending eight years in a coma. CNN's Senior International Ccorrespondent Ben Wedeman reports on the the complex legacy he leaves behind. In a flag-draped casket, Ariel Sharon enters the Israeli Knesset, the Parliament, for the very last time, as a nation mourns the death of a man whose presence was felt, for better or for worse, in the life of every Israeli. "He built israel, he is Israel, he was Israel," says Ruth Schneider, an Israeli mourner. "He was the earth, the heart, everything." Few knew that better than his old friend and sometimes rival, Shimon Peres, Israeli's 90-year-old President who was the first to pay his respects. Afterwards, thousands of well-wishers filed through to light candles, to take pictures, to ponder what his passing meant. Among them, many who had fought in Israel's long succesion of wars. "All his life he fight for Israel," says Haim Freidman. "He was known as the bulldozer because he got his way. He made things happen. He was and he's well respected for that." But on the other side of this divided land, a mirror image. In Gaza, which was under Sharon's iron-fisted control when he headed Israel's southern command, one man's hero is another man's villain. "He was a criminal and his hands are covered in blood, Mohamed tells us," says Mohaman, a Palestinian resident of Gaza. "He committed many war crimes and massacres. I'm happy he's dead." "God bless his soul," says Abu Khalid. "May he rot in hell." "Was Ariel Sharon a brave warrior and a visionary statesman, or a bulldozer and a butcher? asks CNN's Ben Wedeman. "It all lies in the eyes of the beholder."

   
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