First things first, how is your father? What is his current condition?Honestly, it sounds as though Sharon is fantasizing that his father is awake, and running the risk of tabloid-ing this news that hasn't exactly been confirmed, even by the Israeli MSM.
My father is currently in the hospital. We visit him each and every day. We have been visiting him every single day — my brother, my wife and myself. Now that I am in [the United States] my brother is covering for me. He is strong, my father is very strong …
When he is asleep, he looks like lord of the manor sleeping. And when he is awake he looks at me, he moves his fingers when I ask him. For me, every little thing like that is a big deal and we hope for the best.
Is he aware when you are there, does he know what is going on around him?
When he is awake, he looks at me, I cannot — I don’t have any scientific proof, and I am not looking for one. I think that he is, you know.
You say in the book that in many ways you were the impetus for the idea of the disengagement from Gaza. How did that come about?Yes, we get it. The sole option is ceding land for peace, and not fixing one's cultural beliefs. What a sugarcoat. And he goes out of his way to promote his father's lugubrious positions as though he were a saint.
The thing is that we are a very united, close and warm family. I am very proud that my father would listen about what I had to say. But the real thing is to take the decision and execute it. And that was a great act of leadership. At the end of the day it was his decision and his responsibility. But I see no other in those days or even today that would have that leadership. This is something that had to be done. The public in Israel supported it. And he conducted it. And you know what, Arab leaders appreciated his efforts toward peace. As the [former] president of Egypt [Hosni Mubarak] said in December 2004, Sharon is the only chance for peace. That says it all.
Critics look back and say that disengagement was a failure due to Hamas’ takeover and the stream of rocket attacks targeting Israel from Gaza. How do you respond?This is pathetic. When the IDF was in Gaza, it enabled them to keep rocket attacks away from civilian range much more easily. It was after they retreated that they became much worse, and people were injured and died from attacks. In fact, terror attacks increased during Sharon's term as PM. Until 2006, it was not as severe a case as it is now. Sharon's defense here is blatant and insulting to terror victims in Ashdod and Ashkelon, to name but some examples of places that were seriously hit hard by the damage.
We had rockets before. We had rockets since April 16, 2001. It was a few years before. But the difference is, for instance, in 2004 alone, one year before disengagement, before withdrawing from Gaza, we had more rockets than we had after disengagement in 2005 and 2006 together. So that claim is wrong. The thing is that it gave us the possibility to fight the terror from Gaza because while we were there we were considered sovereign, so we couldn’t act against a place we were responsible for. But after withdrawing from Gaza, it gave us the opportunity to act against terror there.
Here's where he turns - subtly or otherwise - to defeatism.
One interesting part of the book is that you list many of the conversations your father had with world leaders after various terror attacks in Israel. The world leaders would call and perfunctorily condemn the attacks before urging restraint, restraint, restraint. Did that ever get on your father’s nerves?Oh sure he was. He certainly took a turn for the worse in the end. At one point circa 2002, he refused to respond after a few terrorist attacks, and it led to considerable horror.
Restraint is very good advice when terror attacks are not in your own country. My father, he was handling those two battles at the same time. The first one was the fight against terror. And the second one was the diplomatic one. He was explaining to other world leaders what Israel was going through. Of course it became easier after Sept. 11 could understand what terror means. In the book I bring the actual transcripts of those meetings and they are very interesting.
And did I mention how, in the book, Sharon attacked Netanyahu, calling him a "coward":
In his new book on his father Ariel Sharon’s life, Gilad Sharon calls current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “coward” and a “subversive.”No, I think Sharon is just hateful of him for daring suggest a national referendum, which Sharon was against because it was possible that he could lose it.
His attack on Netanyahu came in the context of discussing his father’s effort to push his Gaza disengagement plan through the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in 2004. Gilad discussed how Netanyahu and several other members of Sharon’s cabinet tried to make the effort more difficult.
“Netanyahu, who had helped draft the plan and voted in favor of it in the cabinet meeting … suddenly added a condition: they called for a national referendum, without which they would not support the plan,” he wrote in “Sharon: The Life of a Leader.”
To push this new condition, Gilad writes, Netanyahu demanded an “urgent” meeting with his father before the vote. Ariel Sharon refused.
Netanyahu ultimately voted in favor of the plan at the vote, but the move irked Gilad.
“This was a true manifestation of Netanyahu’s character,” Gilad writes. “Not only was he subversive, but he was also a coward,” he added, presumably calling Netanyahu a coward for not standing by his threat to vote against the measure.
In an interview with The Daily Caller, Gilad seemed none too enthused to discuss that passage of his book.Well from what I can tell, their relationship certainly did fall out, as Netanyahu resigned. But aside from that, it is rather odd that he doesn't want to elaborate further. He probably wrote the part out of vindictive sentiments against Netanyahu, and as of today, you could pretty much say that Gilad Sharon is a leftist who sure wouldn't support the Likud.
“Well, you know, I bring the facts as they are,” Gilad said when asked if his father viewed Netanyahu similarly. “I am sure Netanyahu is doing his best,” he added, before transitioning to discuss his father’s diplomatic efforts.
When pressed again to discuss how his father’s relationship was with Netanyahu, Gilad exclaimed, “My father appointed him minister in his government!”
Asked once more whether his father thought highly of Netanyahu, Gilad again seemed reluctant to delve further into the topic.
I wouldn't consider a book like this that very likely to whitewash even the worst parts of Ariel Sharon's history worth buying and reading, and advise all to pass on it.