Leave it to Netanyahu, however, to use the Gaza experience to justify the continuation of the occupation rather than working out airtight plans with the PA that would entail security measures to ensure that the West Bank does not become a staging ground for attacks on Israel.
I disagree with those who suggest that Netanyahu will never change his stripes. Many deeply ideological leaders before him have unexpectedly risen to the occasion to answer the call from their people and the international community for a drastic change.
The ongoing project of building a Jewish national homeland in the modern era owes a great debt both to Ariel Sharon and to Shulamit Aloni, and it can trace its roots all the way to this week's Torah portion.
Neither Netanyahu nor Abbas has demonstrated bold and visionary leadership, which is surely needed at this fateful juncture. The Israeli-Palestinian annals are saturated with self-denial and resistance to the inevitable, and there is little evidence that much has changed.
For me, Ariel Sharon was a leader's leader who demonstrated the vision, courage and commitment to what he believed in -- qualities that are sorely lacking on the global stage today and especially in the Middle East.
Sharon moved from being a warrior to becoming a statesman. In both capacities, Sharon was thinking and acting on behalf of his beloved Israel. Sometimes this meant strength and toughness. Other times it meant creative non-military decision-making.
On Sunday, thousands gathered to pay their last respects to Israel's eleventh prime minister and brilliant military strategist, Ariel Sharon, who passed away on Saturday after spending the last eight years of his life in a coma following a stroke in 2006.
ARIEL SHARON - Durant près de huit ans, Ariel Sharon était un mort-vivant, et ces derniers jours, inconscient sur son lit d'hôpital, objet d'un festival médiatique 24h sur 24: mort, pas mort? Finalement, il est terrassé à l'âge de 85 ans.
Like King, leaders of the Palestinian popular resistance -- from intellectuals to grassroots villagers who'd been repeatedly jailed -- spoke to us about universal human rights, about a human family in which all deserve equal rights regardless of religion or nationality.
Israel has the right to defend its citizens against a continuous rain of missiles. But there is no purely military solution to this conflict. There is only a political one, which will require a strong, prosperous, democratic Palestinian state in the West Bank as a counter to the Gaza of Hamas.
A dangerous situation has developed and it's surprising that it hasn't gotten more notice. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to influence the 2012 presidential election by garnering votes for his friend, Mitt Romney.