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Comments by world leaders about Ariel Sharon

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 11, 2014 at 10:21 am •  Published: January 11, 2014
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JERUSALEM (AP) — A selection of memorable quotes about Ariel Sharon, Israel's former prime minister who died Saturday at age 85:

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"The only one left is Sharon." — Then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, hailing Sharon in 2005 as the only Israeli leader who could deliver peace with the Palestinians.

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"A man of enormous courage ... a wonderful, historic leader." — Then-U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, after Sharon's 2006 stroke.

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Sharon was "the first Israeli leader who stopped claiming Israel had a right to all of the Palestinians' land." — Palestinian commentator Ghazi al-Saadi, commenting on Israel's withdrawal from Gaza Strip.

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"The job of prime minister ... changed him, not just ideologically but also in terms of his personality. He was a fighting, quarrelsome man and suddenly he imposed on himself a great deal of restraint, personal control and calm." — Yossi Sarid, former leader of Israel's dovish Meretz Party.

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"It is impossible to justify the minister of defense's disregard of the danger of a massacre." — Israeli commission that found Sharon, defense minister at the time, indirectly responsible for the massacre of hundreds by Israeli-allied Christian militiamen at the Sabra and Chatilla refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982 during Israel's war to root out Palestinian guerrillas.

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"It was a stigmatization I rejected utterly." — Sharon in his autobiography, expressing outrage at commission's findings.

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"It is not just Sabra and Chatilla. He committed so many crimes against Arabs everywhere. ... He is truly a butcher." — Adnan al-Mikdad, a Lebanese man who lost both his parents in the massacre.

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"Those who didn't want to see him as army chief got him as defense minister, and those who don't want him as defense minister shall get him as prime minister." — the late Uri Dan, a journalist and Sharon's longtime confidant, speaking in the wake of the commission report.

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