Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Israeli Prime Minister Sharon In Grave Condition

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is in critical condition at Hadassah Hospital in Israel after being rushed to the hospital feeling ill. Sharon had suffered a minor stroke on December 18 and was scheduled to go into an Israeli hospital on Thursday for a procedure to fix a defect in his heart. Today's medical crisis is just that - a major stroke and the prognosis is grim. He's on a respirator and general anesthetic. Ehud Olmert will take over as Prime Minister, which is provided under Israeli law.

There are lots of folks blogging this at the moment, including Mere Rhetoric, who's providing regular updates.

At the time of the first medical crisis, Palestinians took to the streets in celebration of Sharon's condition. One wonders whether they will do so once again.
In Gaza, however, dozens of armed men from the Popular Resistance Committees, a small Palestinian militant group, fired guns in the air, screamed "Sharon is dead" and handed out pastries to motorists to celebrate the news that Sharon was ill.
One can only imagine what they'll do should Sharon's condition declines even further.

It didn't take long for the vultures to start circling among the Palestinians. In fact, according to the New York Times, the Palestinians barely let up in their continued mayhem up and down the Gaza Strip. While Israel prays for Sharon's health, the Palestinians by and large await anxious word of Sharon's condition, knowing that some will celebrate and others will wonder what this means for them in the long run. His full recovery isn't expected. It nearly certainly means the end of Sharon's political career.

Atlas Shrugs also notes Olmert taking over as Prime Minister. Meryl Yourish notes that this is a quite abrupt end to the Sharon era. She also notes the respective glee passed forth from Hamas and the downplaying of Sharon's military brilliance in defending Israel against its enemies.

Tigerhawk notes that while Sharon's medical condition is an intensely personal battle, the repercussions are anything but. All Things Beautiful's thoughts are with Sharon, his family, and Israel.

Kesher Talk and Abracadabrah are running live updates.

Bookworm Room wonders what will become of the Israeli polity, and thinks that folks who elevated Sharon's status to one where he was the only one who could make peace with the Palestinians was greatly misplaced. Not that Sharon was the wrong person, but that the onus was on the Palestinians to make peace, not the Israelis.

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