Sharon 'didn't care what others thought of him'

Sharon 'didn't care what others thought of him'
By Euronews
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Paul McDowell, interviewing Shlomo Brom, a former Brigadier General and head of the Israeli Defence Forces, and who is now at the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies, said: “It seems Ariel Sharon was born to a career in the military, it was in his blood from the very early days when he was a member of the pre-state Haganah.”

Shlomo Brom, Institute for National Security Studies, Israel: “Yes it is true. That was true for this generation, the generation that reached adult age in the decades before Israel gained independence. They joined the different branches of the Haganah because it was quite clear that Israel was going to be born through conflict – whether it was with the mandatory power, the United Kingdom at that time, or with the Arab inhabitants of Palestine.”

euronews: “It seems he was a man who did not heed what others thought. He had a thick skin and did what he believed was right.”

SB: “That was part of what I would call his charm, his magic. He was a very independent person. He thought independently: He was not the kind of person that follows a leader blindly, and he didn’t care what other people thought of him, as long as he could do it his own way.”

euronews: “Where was the heart of the man? Because, let’s not forget, he did suffer personal tragedy: there was a young son killed in a shooting accident, his first wife was killed in a car accident and his second wife died of cancer. How much did this impact on his life?”

SB: “I had the opportunity to meet him on several occasions, and to discuss several issues with him, and it was striking the difference between his image and his personality, the fact that he could make the encounter with other persons a very pleasant one. So I think that he cared, and that it left an impact on him.”

euronews: “Events at Sabra and Shatila have been well documented, but in looking at his legacy should we think of the words once used by Benjamin Netanyahu, ‘We shouldn’t deal with bygones – he has a record throughout his public life that people should be proud of.’”

SB: “I am one of the persons that thinks that Sharon has done a lot of wrong through his career, and one of the reasons for that was the fact that he was so independent, that he didn’t follow orders and that he did what seemed right to him. But one of the good things about Sharon was the fact that he knew how to change, he knew how to correct himself. He did what he thought was the right thing, at the right time in the right place. And when you are considering such a personality sometimes you have to let bygones be bygones.”

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