Ariel Sharon - Biography Chapters
Ariel Sharon - Biography Chapters
1928-1947 Childhood and Youth
1948 Independence War
1953 Retribution Acts (Pe'ulot Tagmul)
1956 The Sinai War
1956-1967 Difficult Years
1967 Six-Day War
1967-1970 Defense Strategist
1971 War against Terrorism
1973 End of Military Career?
1973 October War (Yom Kippur War)
1975-1977 A Rookie Politician
1977-1982 Settlements vs. Peace
1981 Israel attack Iraq's nuclear plant
1982 The Lebanon War
1990-1992 Construction Bulldozer
2000 Visit to the Temple Mount
Sharon Prime Minister Elect
Sharon's Disengagement Plan
2005 Ariel Sharon's Stroke Drama
2006 Ariel Sharon Died - Fact or Rumor?
2006 Latest News on Ariel Sharon's Condition
2006 Ariel Sharon - Israel Prize Nomination
2013 Is Ariel Sharon waking up from his coma?
2000 Visit to the Temple Mount
Camp David, 11 July 2000 - Israeli
and Palestinian delegations meet to hold peace talks under American
Israeli Prime Minsiter, Ehud Barak, tells US President, Bill Clinton, his
starting position: Jerusalem would never be shared. Palestinian Chairman,
Yasser Arafat, demands half Jerusalem as his capital and Palestinian
sovereignty over what the Muslims know as the Haram al-Sharif, which is the
Jews' Temple Mount.
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The Americans draft an agreement and first present it to Barak. The draft
appears to allow the Palestinians also to have their capital in Jerusalem.
Barak angrily rejects it, so an amendment is added to the agreement, to take
account of Israel's position. Then the paper is presented to Arafat. He
notices the amended paragraph which adresses the subject of sovereignty over
Jerusalem, and he too angrily rejects the paper, stating that the most
important thing for him is Jerusalem and the Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount).
The Americans try to bridge tha gap, but for a whole week every American
effort is rejected by one side or the other and Barak, who had made all the
running for this summit, now refuses pointblank to negotiate directly with
President Clinton, who is due to leave for the G8 summit in Japan the next
day, finally confronts Ehud Barak and tells him that he has got to make a
better offer. Barak consults his negotiating team and they all agree that
some sacrifice over Jerusalem must be made in order to avoid an eruption of
violence. Barak, however, is well aware that to do so could be political
suicide. They argue all day long while Clinton waits and waits and getting
more and more angry. Late at night, Barak arrives at Clinton's cabin with
his offer: a couple of Palestinian villages on the outskirts of Jerusalem
could become their capital. He stresses the point that no Israeli Prime
Minister would ever give up sovereignty over Temple Mount. President Clinton
explodes and very angrily says to Barak, 'You made me wait here for thirteen
hours and you come back with this? You go say it to Arafat if you want to.
Don't ask me to do it. I'm not going to do that. You dragged me to Geneva
for a summit with Assad. I was your puppet! And then you backed off! I will
not let it happen here again. You got to go further, you got to be able to
see enough in your proposal to believe that if they give and you give and
they give and you give they'll get some place they can live with. You've got
to do better. You have got to do better.'
Barak goes back to his cabin. Then, he decides to break a taboo and makes a
huge concession. When he returns to Clinton, he says, 'I am willing for you
to propose to Arafat that we divide the Old City between us.'
Barak says to Clinton that he is willing to offer the Palestinians East
Jerusalem as a capital and sovereignty over the Muslim and the Christian
quarters in the Old City. Barak argues that if Arafat does not accept this
offer, it would prove that he is using terrorism not just as a tactic in
negotiations but as a way of life. He then asks Clinton to present his
proposal to the Palestinian leader as an American idea.
President Clinton calls Arafat to his cabin and presents him the deal. But
one part of the package is totally rejected by Arafat. When it comes to
Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount), the holy place in the Old City that matters
most to Arafat, Barak still insists that Israel retain sovereignty here.
Arafat would get only custodianship. Now Arafat is under pressure. Clinton
reprimands him for not moving an inch from his starting position. He tells
him that if he turns down the offer, he would lose the relationship with the
United States and everything would be off the table. Arafat has to be in
defense. He takes the President's hand and says, 'You're my only friend, I
can't afford to lose you.' He then returns to his cabin to consult with his
team. Arafat is of the opinion that he cannot be flexible in regards to
Arabic and Muslim issues, otherwise he would be assassinated, and stresses
that the main issue is the Holy City places.
Arafat's answer to Clinton is that he cannot betray Jerusalem, which means
'No.' President Clinton delays his departure for Japan to talk Arafat round,
in vain. But then he tries a calculated fudge on Barak. He relays to Barak
his conversation with Arafat, exaggerating what Arafat had said, and then he
leaves for Okinawa for the G8 Summit. The Israeli and Palestinian
delegations stay behind in Camp David. Barak, as a result of what Clinton
told him, is under the impression that Arafat had actually agreed to
negotiate on the basis his offer. Arafat, on the other hand, is left with
the impression that negotiations would continue without reference to what
had been put on the table.
The next morning Barak finds out that Arafat hadn't agreed to his terms at
all and he is very angry. He refuses to meet Arafat one on one.
When Clinton returns to Camp David, he finds that both sides still cling to
their positions: Barak would not yield the sovereignty over Temple Mount or
Haram and Arafat wouldn't accept the settlement without it.
On 26 July 2000, Arafat returns to Gaza as a hero. He had not given in on
East Jerusalem and the Haram. But due to the failure of the peace talks in
Camp David, the Palestinians remain under Israeli Occupation and a renewal
of violence seems inevitable.
When Ehud Barak returns to Israel, he has to deal with a formidable
opponent, opposition leader, Ariel Sharon. Sharon sets out to drive Barak
from office for bargaining over Temple Mount. He says in a television
interview: 'One man, the Prime Minister, without discussing the issue with
the inner cabinet, without bringing it to the government, without bringing
it to the Knesset, without asking anyone of the Jewish leaders around the
world, decided to hand over the holiest place of the Jewish people. That is
something that no one can understand.'
To make his point that Temple Mount belongs to the Jews, Ariel Sharon says
he would take a public walk on Haram al-Sharif, around two of Islam's
Ehud Barak: "Sharon wanted to show to the citizens of Israel that contrary
to Barak, who, according to rumors that he tried to spread, gave away Temple
Mount, he is the defender of our rights. Now, how is he going to show that?
He could only exercise the legal right that everybody has to tour the Temple
Mount. And therefore, as far as I was concerned, I had no special interest
to seem as someone who stops him from making this political protest against
On 25 September 2000, Ehud Barak finally agrees to a face-to-face meeting
with Arafat. A dinner is arranged at Barak's home. During this meeting,
Barak and Arafat talk one on one and afterwards inform their negotiating
teams that they can overcome the remaining obstacles to peace and sign an
agreement within a week. Before he leaves, Arafat pleads with Barak to stop
Sharon from coming to Haram al-Sharim (Temple Mount). He tells Barak that if
Sharon visits there, it might destroy everything and Sharon would be the
only person laughing in the months to come. Barak says there's nothing he
can do about it, because anyone can visit Temple Mount, including Israeli
On 28 September 2000, just after dawn, Sharon enters the mosque enclave
above Temple Mount. With him comes hundreds of police and security stuff.
During the visit, Ariel Sharon says to the press: "I came here with a
message of peace. I believe that we can live together with the Palestinians.
I came here to the holiest place of the Jewish people in order to see what
Following Sharon's arrival at the holy place, a crowd of outraged
Palestinians rushes to his security cordon and tries to stone him, but his
bodyguards surround him and keep the attackers off. The Palestinians crowd
starts shouting at Sharon, telling him to quit this provocation and and get
out of the holy al-Aqsa mosque.
Ariel Sharon: "We didn't do any damage there, and that was not my intention.
I was just visiting Temple Mount, the holiest place for Jews."
The next day, after Friday prayers, Israeli police fires on Palestinian
protesters, killing seven. With these casualties begins the most violent
phase yet of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the al-Aqsa intifada. As the
violent spreads across the occupied territories it looks as though the peace
process is doomed.
On October 3, 2000 Ariel Sharon publishes the following article to explain
the purpose of his visit to the Temple Mount:
Jewish rights on the Temple Mount
By Ariel Sharon (Jerusalem Post 10/03/00)
"We have ample evidence today that the violent riots and armed
confrontations with Israeli police and soldiers which broke out last
Thursday on the Temple Mount during my visit there was part of a
premeditated campaign organized and initiated by the Palestinian Authority.
The PA used its security force, which has been operating illegally in
Jerusalem, in violation of the Oslo Accords, to conduct this campaign.
Palestinian Preventive Security Service chief Col. Jibril Rajoub , the
General Intelligence Apparatus in the West Bank under Brig.-Gen. Tawfik
Tirawi, and the Tanzim - Palestinian Chairman Arafat's Fatah armed militia -
all were involved in the planning, initiation, and execution of the violent
riots, including the instigation of armed attacks and the use of explosives
on soldiers and civilians in the Netzarim area several days before my visit
to the Temple Mount.
Deliberate and provocative incitement by Israeli Arab Knesset members,
calling on Palestinians and Arab Israelis to confront Israeli police and
soldiers in the battle for the Temple Mount was part of this carefully
orchestrated operation to ignite riots in large-scale violence in Judea,
Samaria, Gaza, and Israel proper among its Arab Israeli citizens.
These regrettable and ominous developments have been termed the inevitable
"Palestinian War of Independence."
But there is more to these developments than just the question of who will
have control over the Temple Mount. What we are witnessing these days is not
just a Palestinian war of independence, it is a struggle over the shape and
future of Israel as a state. This struggle's outcome will determine the
extent to which Israel can maintain its Jewish and democratic character as
defined by the Declaration of Independence amidst those who wish it to be
something else: definitely not a Jewish state, and probably not a true
democracy capable of defending the rights and liberties of its citizens,
Jews and Arabs alike.
I visited the Temple Mount with members of the Likud faction in the Knesset,
as I have done many times before, to inspect and ascertain that freedom of
worship and free access to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which is sovereign
Israeli territory, is ensured to everyone: Christians, Moslems, and Jews in
particular, since it is and has been for over 3,000 years the site of our
Ever since the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967, Israel has made careful
arrangements to ensure freedom of worship and free access to the site for
Moslems, Christians, and Jews alike. Historically, however, it should be
noted that only under Israeli rule was that for everyone, including Jews.
The Waqf is attempting to deliberately destroy all archaeological evidence
of Jewish claims to this holy site, while using terror and intimidation to
impose their exclusive claim to the site.
Proof of the PA's systematic campaign and premeditated efforts to take
control of the Temple Mount were publicly presented by Israeli Police
inspector-general and other security officials following my visit; the
evidence has been documented.
As for myself, despite the recent violent events, I remain fully committed
to achieving peace with all our Arab neighbors, including the Palestinians.
I believe that we can live together with Palestinians, but not when
systematic anti-Jewish, anti-Israel incitement instigated by the PA and its
leaders to official media sources continues unabated, as became evident in
the past few days.
When Palestinian policemen open fire on civilians, it is difficult to
imagine future conciliation. This spread of violence, terror, and incitement
will only place the full consequences of these actions on the shoulders of
the Palestinian leadership as well as the leaders of the Arab Israeli
community. If they continue down this path, they will be leading them
astray, rather than giving them the hope of real peace.
Finally, in order to achieve true conciliation, the Palestinians must
recognize the historical right of the Jews to their capital, and
particularly to the Temple Mount. Freedom of access and religious worship
would never be denied to Americans, Europeans, or Arabs in their own
respective capitals and countries. It should never be denied to Jews in
their one, eternal capital.
Peace is still at hand, but only with an undivided Jerusalem under full
President Clinton now makes a final attempt to rescue the peace process
before he leaves the White House.
Madeleine Albright, US Secretary of State, summons Prime Minister Barak and
Chairman Arafat to Paris (where she is sheculed to have some meetings with
the French Foreign Minister Vedrine) to discuss a cease fire. But the venue
is problematic, since the French President, Jacques Chirac, openly expresses
his opinion that the new intifada had started because of Ariel Sharon's
irresponsible provocation at the holy site of the mosques.
On 4 October 2000 Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat arrives in Paris, and his
first call is on the French President at the Elysee Palace. Israeli Prime
Minister Ehud Barak has to follow suit, although the Israelis believe that
Chirac sides with the Palestinians.
The summit takes place at the residence of the US Ambassador to France, but
from its very early stages the meeting is dominated by an atmosphere of
animosity and it is clear that both sides cannot move on. Barak insists that
Arafat should instruct his people to stop the attacks. Arafat pretends not
to know what Barak is talking about. Mrs. Albright decides to talk to each
leader separately. She first talks to Barak. In the meantime Arafat is
getting more and more agitated. He's certain that US Secretary Albright and
Barak secretly tries to turn French President Chirac against him. Suddenly
he bolts out of the building and rushes to his car. Secreatry Albright runs
after him and manages to persuade him to come back in.
Arafat demands that an international commission would investigate who is to
blame for latest outbreak of violence. But Barak doesn't want to
internationalize the issue and bring in the UN or anyone else to investigate
By eleven that night, it is agreed that the detail of the inquiry would be
settled later. Israel and the Palestinians are on the brink of a cease fire
agreement that could save Clinton's peace efforts. And then, all of a
sudden, Secretary Albright gets a phone call from President Chirac and he
says, 'I think that, you know, you are in my country, and protocol is very
important, and I need to host you and the Prime Minister and President
Arafat.' US Secretary Albright says, 'Mr. President, this is a very
important moment, this is not a really good idea for us to come right now,
we're about to finalize on this document.'
But Chairman Arafat insists that they should go because they were invited by
President Chirac, and he is their host.
When they arrive at the Elysee, Secretary Albright discovers that instead of
the social occasion she was expecting, Chirac had had a table set up for a
formal conference, including the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, who'd
been summoned from dinner with the French Foreign Minister.
In this meeting, Arafat demands again a commission of inquiry, although it's
a deal-breaker. Barak refuses outright. President Chirac holds the EU
presidency at that time and speaks about the inquiry, but not as a
deal-breaker. Secretary Albright is very angry with Chirac and she gives him
a dirty look and tells him, 'I'm sorry, Mr. President, we've already dealt
with the inquiry. I'm telling you that there's already an agreed upon
At the end of the meeting, Arafat, instead of returning to the talks, sets
off for his hotel. Secretary Albright is shocked and tells him, 'You
promised me, you promised me that you were going to stay.' But Chairman
Arafat leaves behind his Foreign Minister, and so escapes the attempt to pen
him down into a cease fire agreement without a full blown inquiry. The
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Ariel Sharon Biography Books
Sharon: A life
by Nir Hefetz and Gadi Bloom
Review: The Jerusalem Post
by Ariel Sharon and David
The Real Legacy of Ariel Sharon
by Baruch Kimmerling
by Norman H. Finkelstein
Ariel Sharon Web Biographies
Official biography - Israel's PMO
Jewish Virtual Library
Sharon in Zionism
Ariel Sharon Web Resources
articles by Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon's Last Interview - Nikkei
Maker or Peace Breaker - CNN
Oz on Ariel Sharon - Ynet
Obama Timeline - read about Barack Obama, family and parents of
Barack Obama and about Barack Obama's campaign