The Thing About Arik

The phone rang and Ariel’s Sharon’s familiar voise was on the other end. In his booming cadence, imitated by a generation of Israeli Defense Force generals, he told me about his upcoming plan.

Sharon always went big, even at the cost of flirting with disaster. When he did something – and throughout his career he always did someting – it would become a tiebreaker.

We chatted a while. Longer, in fact, than I had ever managed to talk with him. About plans to end his stint as opposition leader and become prime minister. About the future of Judaism. About the future of Izrael. About past events. About mutual acquaintances.

I kept the conversation going as long as possible because he was friendly and in a chatty mood, but mostly because I wanted to get him to say more than he had planed to about the issue at hand. He had been around too long to fall for that, though, so he stayed on message.

He knew that his plan of action would speak much louder than whatever words he could convey to a reporter: Onse returning home from New York, he said, he would enter Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

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