The Evening Standard asked me for between 100-200 words on Sharon in a personal capacity (like the vast majority of things that I write). This is what I came up with. As a reminder everything on this blog is my personal opinion.
Ariel Sharon like the biblical King David was a Jewish wartime leader who galvanized the people behind him but did deeply immoral things in the process. Many of his deeds stand as examples to be learnt from rather than acts to be aspired to. Like King David his hands were bloody enough to win the war but too bloody to win the peace. His evacuation of eight thousand settlers from Gaza was necessary but the unilateral manner in which it was done guaranteed that it would not help the peace process. A founding father of Israel his life was one dedicated to the service of establishing and safeguarding the Jewish State. The mass of mourners reflect the deepfelt respect for this sacrifice but should not be misinterpreted by outside observers as approval of all his policies and actions.