SHARONNobody would have imagined that a peace plan would be agreed under Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that would lead to the demolition of twenty-one Jewish settlements in the West Bank and the Gaza strip. The “hero of the Six-Day War”, who made a name for himself as an unscrupulous militarist and who, as minister of defence, was held responsible when Christian Lebanese Falange militias allied to Israel instigated a bloodbath in the Palestinian refugee camps Sabra and Shatila in 1982, was not regarded as a man for reconciliation, or as a friend of the Palestinians. On the contrary, Jewish settlers gained increasing influence under his government and, right up to the end, Sharon was still calling for the continued establishment of illegal settlements on Palestinian territories.
What it was that in 2003 prompted this hard line Israeli politician to question more or less everything he had believed in and fought for during his life, remains a mystery. In his documentary, Dror Moreh tries to get to the bottom of this change of heart. At the same time, he considers Israel’s history with its countless crises, wars and dashed hopes of peace; he also examines the family history of the Israeli leader who was born in Israel in 1928 to a Polish-German father and a Russian mother. Ariel Sharon in 2005: “I was born in Israel; the son of pioneers, of people who cultivated their land and were not looking for any kind of argument. If circumstances had not demanded it, I would not have become a soldier but a farmer.” Ariel Sharon suffered a stroke in February 2006 and has been in coma ever since. Sharon’s peace plan was not pursued by his successors.