The Pressure On Sharon

Buffeted by competing forces, burdened by the past, an old man looks to an uncertain future

Ariel Sharon sat at the pine dining table in the big kitchen of Sycamore Farm, his sprawling cattle ranch in the Negev Desert, early last week. Dressed in casual khakis and a white shirt with sleeves rolled up, the Israeli Prime Minister dug in to a lunch of roast chicken with a friend who came to visit. The violence of the Aqsa intifadeh had interrupted Sharon's brief vacation, and the conversation turned to the wars that had threatened the country's existence, right back to the 1948 battle to establish the state, when Sharon first saw military action. "This now is a...

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