Ariel Sharon was born at Kfar Malal in 1928. He joined the Haganah at the age of 14 in 1942. During the 1948 War of Independence, he commanded an infantry company in the Alexandroni Brigade. In 1953, he founded and led the "101" special commando unit which carried out retaliatory operations. Sharon was appointed commander of a Paratroop Corps in 1956 and fought in the Sinai Campaign. In 1957 he attended the Camberley Staff College in Great Britain.
During 1958-62, Sharon served as Infantry Brigade Commander and then Infantry School Commander, and attended Law School at Tel Aviv University. He was appointed Head of the Northern Command Staff in 1964 and Head of the Army Training Department in 1966. He participated in the 1967 Six Day War as commander of an armored division. In 1969 he was appointed Head of the Southern Command Staff. Sharon resigned from the army in June 1972, but was recalled to active military service in the 1973 Yom Kippur War to command an armored division.
Ariel Sharon was elected to the Knesset in December 1973, but resigned a year later, serving as Security Adviser to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (1975). He was elected to the Knesset in 1977 on the Shlomzion ticket. Following the elections, he joined the Herut party and was appointed Minister of Agriculture. He served as Minister of Defense from 1981-83, which position he held during the War in Lebanon. He served as Minister of Industry and Trade from 1984-90 and as Minister of Housing and Construction from 1990-92. In the 13th Knesset, he served on the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
Sharon served as Minister of National Infrastructure from July 1996-July 1999, and as Minister of Foreign Affairs from October 1998-July 1999.
Re-elected to the 15th Knesset in May 1999, he serves as temporary chairman of the Likud following the resignation of Benjamin Netanyahu.
On 6 February 2001, Ariel Sharon was elected as the Prime Minister of Israel. Sharon is widowed and has two sons.
Source: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
1948 Infantry Commander in War of Independence,
1949-50 Commander of Golani Brigade
1951-52 Intelligence officer, Central and Northern Commands
1953 Founder & Commander of 101 special anti-terror unit
1954-57 Commander, Paratrooper Brigade, inc. Sinai Campaign.
1958-62 Commander, Infantry College; Infantry & Armoured Brigades
1964-65 Chief of Staff, Northern Command
1967 Six Day War - Commander, Armoured Division
1969-73 G.O.C. Southern Command, inc. Suez Canal Front during War of Attrition and the battle against terror in Gaza.
1973 Retired from I.D.F. Recalled to command Armoured Division during Yom Kippur War. Led crossing of Suez Canal.Rank: Major-General
Member of Knessets: 8 - Likud; 9 - Shlomtzion; 9,10,11,12,13 - Likud; 14 - Likud Gesher Tzomet; 15 - Likud;
Functions in Eighth Knesset:
18th Government: Minister of Agriculture
Functions in Tenth Knesset:
19th Government: Until 14/2/1983, Minister of Defense
19th Government: From 14/2/1983, Minister Without Portfolio
20th Government: Minister Without Portfolio
Functions in Eleventh Knesset:
21st Government: Minister of Industry and Trade
22nd Government: Minister of Industry and Trade
Functions in Twelfth Knesset:
23rd Government: Until 20/2/1990, Minister of Industry and Trade
24th Government: Minister of Housing and Construction
Functions in Fourteenth Knesset:
27th Government: From 8/7/1996, Minister of Infrastructure
27th Government: From 13/10/1998, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Member of all Inner Cabinets of Likud & National Unity Governments Since 1977
1953 Ariel Sharon was called back to full time service in order to create the "101 Unit," which was set up to fight Palestinian terrorism which was rampant in Judea and Samaria, territories that were under Jordanian Occupation, as well as The Gaza Strip, which was under Egyptian Occupation since the Independence War. "Unit 101, in a very short period, succeeded in changing the foundations of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
1954 "Unit 101" merged with the paratroopers and Sharon was appointed its commander. The main objective of this unit was to retaliate against terrorist bases. In one such attack on an Egyptian position near Dir-El-Balach, Sharon was wounded once again, in July, 1954, while commanding his troops at the front.
1956 Ariel Sharon was appointed the paratroopers' Brigade Commander. It was under this command that the brigade created its standards for battle which would be used by the IDF for years to come. In "Operation Kodesh", Sharon commanded the Paratrooper Brigade which initiated the operation and infiltrated deep into enemy territory.
1957 Ariel Sharon began his studies at the Military Academy in England.
1958 - 1962 Sharon filled a number of positions: Commander of Field Combat Academy, Commander of Infantry and Armored Divisions. While he was serving he finished his studies and received a law degree from Hebrew University.
1964 Appointed commander of Operations Command (OC) North, during conflict with the Syrians, who were trying to divert parts of the Jordan River. These hostile acts were in order to prevent Israel's usage of water from the Jordan River.
1966 Appointed Head of Instruction of the General Staff and promoted to the rank of General.
1967 During the Six Day War, he commanded the Armored Reserve. After fierce tank battles in the Sinai, they reached the Suez Canal. A battle ensued which is studied today in classic military literature.
1969 Appointed Operations Command (OC) South, which included command over the Suez Canal during the War of Attrition with the Egyptians.
1970 General Sharon instituted unique actions which put a stop to terror in the Arava.
1971 As Commander of OC South, he successfully initiated and carried out the destruction of the terrorist infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, which brought about many years of calm.
July, 1973 Ariel Sharon retired from the IDF to his farm in the Negev. He initiated the creation of the Likud Party, which brought about the political revolution in 1977.
1974 First elected Member of the Knesset (MK) and Member of the Defense Committee. At the end of the year he resigned and returned to his farm in order to keep his command of the Armored Reserves which, being an MK, would not have been allowed.
1977 - 1981 Initiated and carried out the settlement of Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip, as well as settlements in the Galilee, Negev Desert and the Golan Heights. With this plan (in which he served as Defense Minister), he created 230 settlements within seven years. This plan became the backbone of security and national strategic goals for the State of Israel. Also today this plan in Judea and Samaria is the basis for mapping out the national vital interest of Israel and is a cornerstone for negotiations with the Palestinians.
1981 Appointed Defense Minister and was Defense Minister during Lebanon War, which brought about the destruction of the terrorist infrastructure in Lebanon and the exiling of its leaders in Beirut. He succeeded in renewing diplomatic relations with the African nations which had broken off during the Yom Kippur War. In November, 1981, he brought about the first strategic cooperation agreement with the U.S. and widened defense ties between Israel and many nations. He also helped bring thousands of Jews from Ethiopia through Sudan.
Ariel Sharon has published a book and numerous articles in local and foreign newspapers. He lives on his farm (Hashikmin Farm in Sha`ar Hanegev) with his two sons.
INTERCESSORS FOR AMERICA
THE FOLLOWING IS RETRANSMITTED AS A COURTESY FROM:
Good evening, and a wonderful evening to all of you. My friends, Silvan Shalom, chairman of my headquarters, and Reuven Rivlin, chairman of the parliamentary faction, all members of Knesset, from this large camp who are sitting here, people from the Likud and all the other parties: MK Eli Yishai, MK Natan Sharansky, MK Avigdor Lieberman, MK Yitzak Levy, Rabbi Menachem Porush and Rabbi Meir Porush - two generations; Michael Kleiner, my friend for many years, David Levy, and mayor of Jerusalem, Ehud Olmert. Together with you we have reached this wonderful point, and made this marvelous achievement.
I want to say that a few moments before I came into the hall, when I was already in the building, the President of the United States, President Bush, called me, and asked me to present his best wishes to you. He told me that they want to cooperate very closely with the government under my leadership. He reminded me of the trip I took with him through Samaria and the Jordan Valley. And he said to me, "No one believed then," he said, "that I would be president and you would be prime minister. But as things turned out, despite the fact that no one believed us, I have been elected president, and you have been elected prime minister."
Citizens of Israel, my colleagues from various parties, today the State of Israel has embarked on a new path, a path of domestic unity and harmony, of striving for security and genuine peace. I would like to thank each and every one of you for your support, for your involvement, for your devotion, for your hard work. As a result of this work and this great conviction that you and the thousands and tens of thousands of individual activists throughout Israel have demonstrated, we have achieved this great victory. We have arrived at this moment, and to you goes my heartfelt thanks.
Tonight is a very moving and significant night for me. Since my youth, I have devoted myself entirely to the country, to consolidating and building its security. In all of my positions, at all times, whether difficult or joyful, I was accompanied by my dear late wife, Lily, who supported me wholeheartedly. At this moment, when the Israeli people have expressed their confidence in me to lead the country in the coming years, I miss her, and she is not standing here by my side. I would also like this evening to thank every single one of Israel's citizens who have expressed their confidence in me. I shall do everything in order to succeed in this mission that you have entrusted to me. This country belongs to all of us, and all of us have a joint future and a single destiny.
In the course of the years, divisions and rifts have deepened in our people and society. We have had our fill of anger and baseless hatred. Now is the time to find common ground, and to seek out as broad a consensus as possible. There is a deepest desire among the people to stand firmly together to meet the challenges of the future. Therefore, I call now for the establishment of as wide a government of national unity as possible. I appeal to the Labor Party and call upon it to join us on the basis of a true partnership in pursuing the difficult path towards security and peace.
Citizens of Israel, today you have called upon me to lead you as prime minister of Israel, and to succeed in the mission you have conferred upon me. In order to do this, I shall need the confidence of the Knesset, and the maximum support of its members. We live in a parliamentary system in which the government functions on the basis of a parliamentary majority. As prime minister, I will accord full respect to the Knesset and its members, and my decisions will be clear to all members of the house. The government, under my leadership, will act to strengthen the rule of law, and to protect the independence of the judicial system, which is one of the guarantees of maintaining a democratic system.
Citizens of Israel, the government, under my leadership, will act to restore security to the citizens of Israel, and to achieve genuine peace and stability in the area. I know that peace requires painful compromise on the part of both sides. Any diplomatic accord will be founded upon security for all peoples of the region. I call upon our Palestinian neighbors to cast off the path of violence and to return to the path of dialogue and to resolve the conflicts between us by peaceful means.
The government, under my leadership, will act to achieve realistic political accords that will preserve the existential and historic interests of Israel, and will be based on mutual respect and the reciprocal fulfilment of obligations. We shall act to deepen the special relationships with our great friend and ally, the United States, and we shall strive to achieve closer ties between the State of Israel and the countries of the world. Israeli society is plagued by many forms of distress, with which I am familiar. We will do everything we can to eliminate these. A people cannot exist if there is no social solidarity. We shall act to reduce the social gaps and to achieve equal opportunity for everyone.
We will turn over a new leaf in our relationships with our Israeli Arab citizens in order to achieve a genuine partnership and a feeling of equality among all the country's citizens.
The government, under my leadership, will, alongside the banner of peace and security, also raise the banner of social advancement - first and foremost in the realm of education. And above both banners, the flag of Zionism will be raised, the flag of national honor, immigration and settlement. The government which I shall establish will strive to strengthen and consolidate united Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, and the eternal capital of the Jewish people, to which we always proclaim our loyalty, stating, "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand lose her cunning. May my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth if I remember thee not, if I set not Jerusalem above my chiefest joy."
The government under my leadership will act to achieve on-going economic growth, and in this way, we will create new employment opportunities and reduce unemployment. We will maintain price stability and prevent the renewal of inflation. We will implement a responsible national budget without any increase in the deficit, while at the same time investing in infrastructure and education. We will reduce the tax burden on Israeli citizens. We will maintain the principles of a modern, open economy, based on competition and integration in the world economy. To achieve these goals, it is my intention to establish an economic cabinet, which I shall head.
Citizens of Israel, we have a small country which is blessed with talent and rich with achievement. Let us set out tonight, joining forces as a single body, with a single heart, on a new path. Together, we will be able to overcome all the challenges confronting us. Together, we will be able to realize here all our hopes and our dreams. Thank you all.
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