Gilad Sharon, son of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, tells Newsmax that President George W. Bush personally assured him that no American president would ever permit Iran to have nuclear weapons.
The younger Sharon also expressed fear that the so-called Arab Spring will result in more extremist regimes surrounding Israel, and said President Barack Obama is a friend of Israel because that friendship is not “personal” and is based on shared values.
War hero Ariel Sharon served as Israel’s 11th prime minister from 2001 to 2006. He suffered a crippling stroke in January 2006, and today remains in a persistent vegetative state.
Story continues below video.
Gilad is the author of a new biography of his father, “Sharon: The Life of a Leader,”
which offers an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at Ariel’s career and chronicles his meetings with world leaders including President Bush, Tony Blair, Vladimir Putin, King Abdullah of Jordan, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and others.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, Gilad discusses his father’s condition today.
“My father is currently in a hospital. We visit him each and every day, my brother, my wife and myself. He hasn’t lost a pound. He’s gained. No one knows how.
“When he’s awake he looks at me. He moves fingers when I ask him to. We wait for him to get better because we miss his presence.”
One of Prime Minister Sharon’s most controversial decisions was to pull Jewish settlements out of Gaza. Gilad defends that move.
“Pulling out of Gaza was a necessary step that he had the courage and vision to take,” he says.
“In Israel there was a consensus that if we were to have a peace treaty with the Palestinians, we would not be sitting in Gaza. So the question was, should we wait for a peace agreement that might never arrive, or should we do unilaterally what is best for us? My father took the decision and executed it.”
Gilad was asked how his father would likely handle the threat posed by Iran today.
“In the beginning of the 1990s he was talking that the Iranian threat, which is not only against Israel, should be handled by an international coalition headed by the United States,” he responds.
“In a visit to the Oval Office that President Bush kindly invited me to in July 2008, he told me that he did not believe that any American president would allow Iran to have nuclear weapons, and in that meeting he told me he admired my dad.”
Regarding the Arab Spring that has toppled regimes in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, Gilad tells Newsmax: “To call it a spring is a little bit surprising, because spring symbolizes renewal and I’m not sure this is what is going to happen.
“Probably we’re going to see more of the same, if not worse, because in Egypt, exit Mubarak and now we have a military junta.
“We have to be very careful because the regimes around us might be even more extremist and fundamentalist, and so we have to be very careful regarding what do we give and to whom.”
Sharon was asked how Israelis view the Obama administration’s efforts at peacemaking and if there is any sense that the administration is a friend of Israel.
“Every American president is a friend of Israel,” Sharon declares.
“The relationship between Israel and the U.S. is based on mutual values of freedom and justice.
“We share the war against Islamic fundamental terrorism, and that brings us together. It’s beyond the personal.”
Sharon adds that the situation in Israel would be better today if his father was still taking part in the political process.
“I’m sure our situation would be better. My father managed to create wonderful relationships with other world leaders. In ‘Sharon: The Life of a Leader’ I bring the actual transcripts of conversations with other world leaders. My father knew where he was heading and the rest of the world leaders knew that.”
Asked to describe his father’s legacy, Sharon says: “My father will always be known as someone who protected Jews, in Israel and all over the world.”
Editor's Note: For a copy of Gilad Sharon's book, “Sharon: The Life of a Leader,” at a good price — Go Here Now.
© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.