Your Editorial (“Remembering Sharon”) and reports last week failed to mention one additional, very important part of Ariel Sharon’s permanent legacy.
When he announced the withdrawal from Gaza, many members of his party, the Likud, protested. So he announced that he would follow the democratic process. He would conduct a referendum among Likud members, and he pledged that he would be bound by the results.
The vote was held, and the great majority of Likud members voted against the plan. Sharon responded by announcing that he was ignoring the vote, and he continued with the withdrawal plan anyway.
His actions created a powerful precedent for politicians in Israel.
Never before had a leader so blatantly ignored the feelings of his members and lied so egregiously, and paid no price for it.
Many Israelis, especially young ones, have since wondered what the point is of speaking your mind and expressing it through the democratic process, when the leaders can simply and unilaterally decide to ignore it.
Democracy and the democratic process in Israel are significantly weaker today because of Ariel Sharon.
West Hempstead, L.I.
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