The current US government has close ties to Sharon, and his plight has made headlines across America. President George W Bush praised his ally for what he had accomplished:
“We pray for his recovery. He’s a good man, a strong man, a man who cares deeply about the security of the Israeli people and a man who had a vision for peace. May God bless him,” he said.
Sharon and Bush have had close personal ties, the US president inviting the Israeli leader to visit his ranch at Crawford in Texas. The current situation is worrying analysts, including former US Secretary of Defence Alexander Haig and former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger:
“It’s in God’s hands, there is no question about that. And I think Israel has been very fortunate over the years to produce the kinds of leaders that they need in times of crisis, and I am confident that will happen in this situation whatever the outcome,” Haig said.
“It brings into serious question everything that Sharon was trying to do and rather successfully, but only because it was Sharon that was doing it,” Eagleburger added.
Asked if he thought it would derail the peace process Eagleburger responded, “probably.”
At the Chabad Lubavitch Synagogue in Midtown Manhattan prayers were said for Sharon. Some Jews consider him to be a kind of father figure.