After eight years spent in a coma at the Tel Hashomer Hospital near Tel Aviv, former Israeli prime minister and defense minister Ariel Sharon died on 11 January 2014. Sharon was a controversial figure, both inside and outside Israel. He was infamous for his instrumental role in the 1953 creation of Unit 101 (Israel’s first special forces unit), the 1982 massacre at Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon, and the unilateral disengagement from Gaza in 2005. A highly -acclaimed Israeli general and military strategist, Sharon was a staunch advocate of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, a leader of the Likud Party, and later, the founder of Kadima.
Sharon’s death, albeit not unexpected, garnered international interest. The former prime minister was eulogized in many American and Israeli media outlets, and at his funeral former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Israeli president Shimon Peres all delivered reverential speeches.
The reaction from the Palestinian community and many others critical of Sharon’s legacy offered an entirely different view, with numerous op-eds published in the international media highlighting Sharon’s participation in war crimes, for which he was never held to account in spite of the findings of an Israeli commission of inquiry and other legal proceedings.
The short satirical piece below was published on 2 January 2014 by the Pan-Arabia Enquirer, “the Middle East’s premier source of made-up news.”