SAUPJ, SAZF & Embassy on Sharon proceedings
The South African Zionist Federation will be holding a memorial service for the late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon this week at the Yeshiva College, Long Avenue, Glenhazel.
The service will begin after Mincha and Maariv, which commence at 18h15; and all are invited you to attend.
A final decision has not yet been taken as to whether it will be on Tuesday 14 or Wednesday 15 January – watch this space, Sa Jewish Report will keep users updated as further information becomes available. Users can also call the SAZF Johannesburg offices today, 13 January after 12 noon and speak to Lisa on 011 645-2510 or Froma at 011 645-2505 to confirm the date.
Also read on this website: SHARON, A FIGHTER TO THE VERY END
“We look forward to seeing you there,” says the Fed’s Media and Communications head Bev Goldman. Bev can be reached at 083 381-8180 or at firstname.lastname@example.org and the Fed’s website address is www.sazionfed.co.za
Book of Condolences at Embassy
The Israeli Embassy will be open to the public for signing the Book of Condolences to the late PM Ariel Sharon on the following times:
Monday 13 January between 13h00 and 14h00 and between 15h00 and 16h00
Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 January between 13h00 and 16h00
People who want to go will need to take their ID books or passports
SAUPJ – Ariel Sharon – in Memoriam
The South African Union for Progressive Jewry issued the following statement this morning:
The passing of Former Prime Minister of Israel Ariel Sharon at the age of 85 closes an important biography in the history of the State of Israel. The South African Union for Progressive Judaism and the South African Association of Progressive Rabbis offer their sincere condolences to the family and Israel at large on his passing. Ariel Sharon, married twice and widowed twice is a father and grandfather. He had to also deal with the tragic loss of his eldest son Gur in 1967. He will remain a controversial figure in the history of the Middle East that he shaped.
As a soldier Mr Sharon was recognised as the one of greatest field commander and military strategist that Israel has ever produced. Mr Sharon played a vital and important role in the Israeli success of the 1967 Six Day War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Yet in many circles, he was held personally responsible for the massacres at Sabra and Shatillla Refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982, and other aggressive initiatives that deprived Palestinians of their humanity. Later, in his political career, many critics found his evolving stance on the two-state solution and expansion of Jewish settlement in occupation zones difficult to accept.
After leaving the army Ariel Sharon took an active part in politics and was instrumental in forming the Likud party, where he rose to become the leader. In March 2001 he was elected Prime Minister. Despite opposition from his own Party he strove to attain a peaceful solution to the Middle East conflict by beginning peace talks with PLO Leader Yassir Arafat, disengagement and eviction of settlers from Gaza and settlements on the West Bank. The Likud Party protested against his actions which were widely accepted by the majority of Israelis; this forced Mr Sharon to resign from Likud and create a new party – Kadima, shortly before the onset of his tragic illness.
Mr. Sharon was a master politician who brought about historic changes which improved Israel’s standing in the world and kept alive Israel’s hope for peace. No other Israeli leader possessed his political skills. For his strongest supporters, he achieved iconic status; for others he remains symbolic of over-extended power.
In his own words: ‘The future lies before us. We are required to take difficult and controversial steps, but we must not miss the opportunity to try to achieve what we have wished for, for so many years: security, tranquillity and peace.’
As Progressive Jews, we view his life as having Biblical proportions, combining human faults and the potential for greatness.