World

Ariel Sharon's Complicated Legacy

The body of former Israeli prime minister and general Ariel Sharon is lying in state Sunday.

Ariel Sharon's Complicated Legacy
U.S. Department of Defense

The body of former Israeli prime minister and general Ariel Sharon is lying in state Sunday.

Sharon of course died Saturday at the age of 85 after eight years in a vegetative state. Thousands of Israelis are expected to come to the Knesset to pay tribute. (Via BBC)

He'll have a military funeral Monday before his body is taken to his home at Sycamore Ranch to be buried near his wife. (Via  ITN)

He was a towering figure in Israeli public life — but as evidenced by media coverage of his passing — a very controversial one. (Via ABC)

‚ÄčTake, for example, this sampling of headlines from Israel's Haaretz, calling him a champion of controversy and a complicated man, and his legacy contradictory.

But look how little room for interpretation is left by his Arab and Palestinian critics who view him as a war criminal. (Via Al Jazeera)

Sharon, nicknamed "the bulldozer" for his aggressive style, had supporters who praised his fierce advocacy for the state of Israel and Israeli independence. (Via RT)

But as Euronews notes, his death sparked celebrations among Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, who view him as an enemy to Palestinian independence.   

Many foreign leaders are expected to attend a state memorial Monday — including U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.