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ARIEL SHARON'S FINAL HOURS

Listen to song from the CD made especially for Arik with Yom Kippur songs and sounds of the War mixed together

Read letter communication with Ariel Sharon regarding the War

 

The latest reports from Ariel Sharon's bedsides indicate that the former Israeli Prime Minister is now in critical condition and could pass away at any time.  The whole State of Israel is now awaiting the sad news.

 Ve'Netaneh Tokef - by singer Hanoch Elbalek

ונתנה תוקף - חנוך אלבלק

 

 I met Arik Sharin during the Yom Kippur War, when I was serving as a communicational officer at an outpost on the Suez Canal, facing Ismailia. In the moments of

horror and despair when the outposts began to fall, Arik arrived. He made contact with some of the outposts, conversed with the men, and made them feel that they were not alone that everything was being done to rescue them. Arik tried, but could not save everyone, and always remember and mentioned it.

These are Arik's final hours. I part from you, Arik, as a friend on behalf of all the soldiers from the Bar Lev outposts.

- Avi Yaffe 


 Following the Yom Kippur War, a warm friendship formed between Avi Yaffe and Arik (Ariel) Sharon, one a fighter from the ‘Purkan’ Stronghold, the other a general in the IDF and the Prime Minister of Israel.

 Below is the letter from Avi to Arik Sharon before Arik suffered the stroke on January 4, 2006. This letter, concerning the function of Arik during the trying and difficult days of the Yom Kippur War, was so touching to Arik, that he kept it with him in his pocket thereafter. After Arik's stroke, Avi recommended that the CD he had created for him be played for Arik to hear, and hopes that it still will (this CD is discussed below in the letter, as well as Arik's list of songs), with an English translation of the full letter following:

  

 Jerusalem, July 8, 2003

 To:

 Mr. Ariel Sharon

 The honorable Prime Minister


 Shalom dear Arik (Ariel),

 My friend, the Minister Zebulon Orlev, passed along your request to gather material related to the Yom Kippur War. It will be my pleasure to carry out this request. I have isolated from among my various recordings those that should be relevant, and I have begun to put them together. I have played a portion of them to the Minister, Orlev, and I will transfer them to my computer in order to create a CD for you. Regretfully, the completion of this task has been delayed by various constraints, including the renewal and operation of the Association for the Distribution of Radio News to radio stations abroad, as well as through the website we built. I told you about this activity a number of years ago. I will try to complete what I have promised you as quickly as possible.

 Within the framework of my work in the Media field, I take every opportunity to talk about your past in the wars of Israel, and about the humanity you showed in crisis. A few weeks ago I was approached by writers from newspaper journalists who interviewed me in order to hear my opinion of you these days regarding the “roadmap,” referring to things I have said in the past. During the interview, I played recordings and presented newspaper clippings and excerpts from books (Herzog, Uri Dan …). 

 The Yom Kippur War

 We, the men of the Suez Canal Strongholds in the Central Sector, those who survived, will not forget how within the tumult of the war, amidst the lies fed to us, the despair and uncertainty, news spread on the radios saying: “Arik arrived …” and hope returned to the shattered strongholds.

 We knew you, and we knew that you would make every effort to rescue us, as indeed, you consistently made contact with every stronghold that was still functioning. You communicated with patience, you created the feeling that we were not alone, you didn’t lie, and you told the hard truth about our situation. There was no room for illusions and errors. At that time I managed to record part of one of the conversations between you and us – the fighters of the ‘Purkan’ Stronghold.

 Following an analysis of the situation with you, we decided that when our presence there would no longer be helpful to the IDF, we would leave the stronghold by ourselves (without help).

 Those from other strongholds, who did not receive honest reports, paid with their lives.

 “It was possible to rescue the men from the strongholds”

 After the war it became clear that you went to great lengths to try to rescue the fighters from the strongholds, however, despite your protests that it was still possible to rescue the men, the high command and the political echelons thwarted these efforts.

 On Monday, 08/10/73, after the failed counterattack, when we knew that many strongholds had fallen and that the chances for rescue were all but gone, I wrote a will meant for my family. These words also represent the final thoughts of those who did not survive.

 I closed the will with the following sentences:

 “The men are reflective … I don’t think our troops will get to us in the near future, Chiziyon is fallen … most of the men are convinced that we won’t get out of here alive … I am sorry to leave you and the kids, I am trusting that you will manage. You are smart and will know what to do … with my parents this will be a problem, I don’t know how you all will get out of it (how you will manage). Actually, I pity them and you more than myself … my dream is that this will be our last war, and that Uri (my son, who was then four years old) and all the children his age, will not need to fight and be killed again – aimlessly. We can solve the problem, we need only wise leaders with courage and vision, and that’s what scares me – that our current generation lacks these qualities, and that the youth that will inherit it (the country), are learning from and imitating it (the present generation). I want you to know (to my wife, Dasi), that what happened here is the fault of the entire leadership, the apathy and greed of most of the nation within all of its levels. I am sure that the IDF will win and hope that everyone will learn a lesson, and not return to the stupidity that followed the Six-Day War.

 Shalom to all of you, with love, Avi.”

 

 Thirty years have already passed, the world continues as usual, and unfortunately, we have learned no lesson. The Yom Kippur War was a painful example of what can happen if we continue to err and engage in the nonsense that consumes the time spent by our public figures and much of our nation.

 I am convinced that you will know how to find a way to get us out of the state we find ourselves in, despite the difficulties and the pressures you are under, at home and abroad, as you have succeeded in doing before.

 I wish you the strength to withstand the pressures, and with your wisdom you will be able to prevent a division of the people, which is more dangerous than our enemies.

 Within the media, I would be happy to lend my experience and technical expertise to the use of the Ministry of Public Affairs in your office, and assist in any possible way.


 Respectfully and with best regards,

 Avi Yaffe


 

 This is the letter Avi wrote to the Prime Minister's Office following Arik Sharon's stroke in January of 2006. At that time, there was an ongoing attempt to trigger awareness in Arik's brain by playing familiar and beloved songs for Arik to hear, such as classical music, which he was known to listen to. Avi suggested that the CD he had made for Arik containing some of his favorite Hebrew songs mixed with sounds from the Yom Kippur War may help in this, and recommended that it be played for him.  The English translation of the letter is as follows:



Jerusalem, 10/1/2006
To: Mirit Danon

The Prime Minister’s Office

 Hello Mirit,

 I am sorry to be contacting you under these circumstances such as they are, in which Arik Sharon is fighting for his life.

 During Arik’s term as Prim Minister, prior to the opening of Photo Exhibition by Uri Dan on the Yom Kippur War, I was asked to combine Hebrew songs loved by Arik, along with excerpted recordings from the [Yom Kippur] War that I had recorded in the 'Purkan' Outpost, and in which Arik's voice is also heard.

 I personally hand delivered this CD (of songs mixed with sounds from the War) to Arik on October 8, 2003. At this time, he reminded me that we were scheduled to have a meeting together soon. At the time of the meeting, that you (Mirit) were also present at, Arik extracted a folded letter from his pocket that I had sent him a few months earlier in the name of the men of the outposts, and he read a section from it. He iterated that he was very moved whenever he listened to the recorded excerpts of the War, especially those of Max Maman, the radio operator who died a shortly after.

 It behooves me to send you the recordings with the sounds that are meaningful to Arik. I ask that you urgently pass this disk on to Omri and Gilad with a warm wish of encouragement. I suggest that you play him (Arik) the recordings, and hope that this may help to improve his state.

 I am also sending you a copy of the letter that was in Arik's pocket.


 With warm regards,

 Avi Yaffe

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