1. PROFILE: Ariel Sharon – Warrior, Hardliner, Pioneer

Friday, January 06, 2006 | 
Sharon, a pioneer of Israeli politics and lover of the land, impacted Israel’s history

JERUSALEM - One of Israel’s most storied leaders, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has had a stake in the State of Israel’s short but rich history as a politician, soldier and farmer.

Known for his fierceness as a military leader and for his hard line politics, Sharon always managed to surprise, as he did by initiating the Gaza pullout, and to endure, outlasting several scandals throughout his career.

And in recent weeks, he appeared unbeatable. Most of the disengagement flack is behind him; a campaign finance scandal is not affecting his popularity in the polls; and several politicians took the risk of following him to his new political party, Kadima.

But one thing does appear to be successful in stopping Sharon: his health.

Pundits are writing his political obituary as the prime minister lies in a hospital bed, his life in the balance after suffering massive brain hemorrhaging.

The death of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon would spell not just an and to an era of politics which he dominated, but the final phase of pioneers from the early days of Israel as a nation.

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