I wrote a poem when Ariel Sharon fell into a coma: it just started dictating itself to me as I walked down the street and I had to pick up stationery at my wife’s yeshiva when I got there to write it down. We left Israel six months after Disengagement and I read one of his biographies and was moved by his mother’s life, then wound up with a sequence of poems by different witnesses, a curious history of the state. This is the view of Yitzhak Rabin— whose birthday on the Hebrew calendar falls this evening, Rosh Chodesh Adar— who promoted him on condition that he behaved himself, and later as PM employed him as a security advisor to decide what land to cede in the Oslo Accord, while Sharon loudly decried the Oslo Accord in public. As PM Sharon also ceded territory and also faced threats to his life.

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