A Johannesburg Star staff-ed compares Ariel Sharon to former South African Prime Minister F.W. De Klerk, who, along with Nelson Mandela, presided over the dismantling of the apartheid regime:
Of course they are in many ways very different. But Sharon, like De Klerk, had the strong conservative credentials necessary to reassure his nervous compatriots and coax them along the uncharted path towards peace and reconciliation with their ancient enemies….
Sharon the leader was hard and unlovable, and many Palestinians have welcomed his departure. But one suspects they know, in their heart of hearts, that in the rough neighbourhood of Middle East politics, he might have been their best bet. This was a stroke of bad luck for Israel and the Middle East.
Sharon’s compared to De Klerk, instead of his predecessor, hardliner P.W. Botha? So much for all the silly criticisms that Israel is an apartheid state.
(Hat tip: It’s Almost Supernatural)