Sharon Meets His Maker

“Laura and I share the concerns of the Israeli people about Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s health, and we are praying for his recovery. Prime Minister Sharon is a man of courage and peace”

George W Bush (US President and man of courage and peace)

“He has surprised, I think, everyone with the courage and statesmanship he has shown in recent years to work towards a long term peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.”

Jack Straw (UK Foreign Affairs Minister and man of courage and statesmanship)

A man of peace is dying. Let us all pray for his quick recovery. A man that was just about to rejuvenate the Israeli political world, redeem for us all the Zionist state and its racist agenda. The great man is gravely ill. Oh dear Lord, save our messiah, oh dear Lord may you now be able to create a donkey so upright that it can carry his load.

A peaceful man is on his way to meet his Creator. The Lord may ask him, just as he enters the gate of heaven, “Hey Grandpa Arik, why are your hands so red?” Sometimes the Dear Lord pretends to be ignorant, he loves to give his chosen followers a chance to repent. Somehow, they tend to forget to do so while they are still amongst the living. But Grandpa Arik is not that silly, the Dear Lord isn’t going to fool him that easily. “What red, what blood? This is me painting your land in my favourite colour, I thought you’d like it”. Grandpa Arik winks to the Lord. The Lord is left cold, unaffected. For more than a while, he seems to have been perplexed by the conduct his chosen followers.

Meanwhile, down on earth, the Israelites are praying for a new saviour, a new man of peace, a merciless general with a long-term agenda. A term that is so long that no one can ever see where it leads. The Israelites do not like to see a light in the end of the tunnel because it means that they live in a tunnel.

No, it isn’t easy to find a replacement for Grandpa. Indeed, as far as filling his shoes goes, the task seems slightly easier, but as far as the waistcoat is concerned, the mission is almost impossible. The whole of the Israelites can fit in. The whole of the Hebraic nation wants to wrap itself up in Grandpa Arik’s flak jacket. It is warm in the winter and it provides shadow in the summer. Somehow, it worked for him for many years. Nothing really touched him, nothing really stacked against the man; not the Qibya massacre, not Sabra and Shatila, not the death toll of thousands of Palestinian and Israeli civilians that took place under his direct command. Not even the bizarre death of his first wife and his son.

Grandpa has managed to get away with everything. On Earth.

Grandpa was the last and the best of his kind. He was a devoted Jewish Nationalist. For him peace wasn’t an end but rather a tactic. Arik was the last Hebraic warrior, he was the very last Israelite knight. All his followers are merely professional soldiers. They can kill if needed but they do not prefer to bathe in blood. They are spoiled. Thank you peace loving old man for teaching us what the Israelites are all about. Thank you peace loving old man for taking leave of us. Thank you especially for teaching us what Israelis love to love. It is a slight shame it took you so long but considering your talent to resurrect yourself from the dead, I would just say that it is never too late.

GILAD ATZMON was born in Israel and served in the Israeli military. He is the author of two novels: A Guide to the Perplexed and the recently released My One and Only Love. Atzmon is also one of the most accomplished jazz saxophonists in Europe. His recent CD, Exile, was named the year’s best jazz CD by the BBC. He now lives in London and can be reached at:


Gilad Atzmon’s latest book is: The Wandering Who? A Study of Jewish Identity Politics