Former Arkansas governor, Republican presidential candidate and popular syndicated radio host Mike Huckabee
said that the reputation of former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, who died Saturday at the age of 85, will not be tarnished even though in 2005 he "ordered Israeli citizens to leave Gaza and eventually forced them out of their homes in communities like Gush Katif."
Commenting on the death of the Israeli war hero and politician, Huckabee noted that "the sincerity of his intentions in giving up lands with the hopes of peace" did not lead to a more friendly Gaza. The area is today controlled by the Islamist Hamas Palestinian faction.
But Huckabee recalled Sharon's leading role in creating major settlements in Judea and Samaria in the 1990s.
Huckabee, who has not ruled out a possible bid for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, lauded Sharon as a major figure in modern Israeli history.
"He was a celebrated person as well as immensely powerful military figure, leading troops in all of Israel's major conflicts including the War for Independence, the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War," he said.
Sharon's life was "a living sacrifice for the nation of Israel that he loved and served" and he will be remembered "as one of Israel's mightiest and most effective warrior and leaders," said Huckabee, who is a regular visitor to the Jewish state.
Sharon's life was "a living sacrifice for the nation of Israel that he loved and served. Our prayers go out to his family," Huckabee concluded.
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