Ariel Sharon, former Israeli Prime Minister, shared a close relationship with the Rebbe over the years. The Avner Institute is pleased to present a collection of photos from Sharon’s visit to the Rebbe for “dollars” in the year 1990.
We have also included excerpts of Ariel Sharon’s private audience with the Rebbe, on Sivan 24 1968, during which fundamental issues regarding the Six Day War and related topics were discussed. To learn more about the Rebbe Visit: www.portraitofaleader.blogspot.com
The following is excerpted from the dairy of a student studying in 770 at the time of Sharon’s visit; following his audience, Sharon sat with some of the students in the study hall and shared some of the points that he had discussed with the Rebbe:
Sharon: What is the Rebbe’s opinion on “Operation Karameh”? [Karameh is a small town in Jordan which housed the headquarters of Arafat’s Fatah movement. In March 1968, Israel raided the town to try to stop the guerrilla attacks which were being launched from there. Israel was forced to retreat under heavy fire after 28 soldiers were killed.]
“The operation itself was a very good thing,” replied the Rebbe. “The fundamental mistake was that too much notice was given before the army came in. Without that notice many Jewish lives would have been saved, as a result of the operation. And there would have not been so many casualties on our side.”
Sharon wondered”If the IDF conducts more operation in Arab villages should we hold on to the land, thereby expanding our borders?”
“No,” the Rebbe answered. “But Israel must respond forcefully to any action or fire that will come from the Arabs. And they should not wait before responding.”
Sharon continued, “Sholomo Maydanchik visits me quite often, wearing his work clothes from ‘Rakevet Israel’ (Israel’s train service). I am always very impressed and touched when he comes dressed that way. He has a greater influence on me than all the rabbis that come to see me.” (He told the Rebbe about other chassidim from Kfar Chabad that come to see him and how much they inspire him. He added that he had recently found out that his mother is rooted was descended from a Chabad family.)
“Nu,” responded the Rebbe. “Now that you have taken the first steps to your return to Yiddishkeit, you should continue all the way.”
“Perhaps,” asked Sharon, “the Rebbe can come and visit Israel? Many Jews will be inspired by the visit.”
“I, too, hope that the time will come for that!” the Rebbe replied.
(Sharon presented to the Rebbe a photograph with an aerial view of the old city of Jerusalem along with a similar picture of the new city. The Rebbe was very happy to receive the pictures.)