Friday, January 06, 2006

Did Emotional Stress Help Destroy Sharon?


19:38 Top Haddassah hospital official: Last operation increased chances PM will live (Ch. 1)

19:00 pm (Israel time): Sharon's condition deteriorates (according to the headline in the JP)

19:00 W. House criticizes Robertson for suggesting PM`s stroke was divine punishment (AP)

18:21 Rice tells Olmert by phone: We in the U.S. are thinking of you, Israeli people (Ch. 2)

17:52 Condoleezza Rice cancels Asia trip due to concerns over PM`s condition (Reuters)

10:31am (Israel time): PM Sharon is undergoing CT scan in Hadassah Hospital (Channel 2)


Sources at Hadassah Hospital said late Thursday night that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered extensive damage to the right lobe of his brain during the hemorrhage which he underwent Wednesday night.

They noted that such an event might have been caused by personal or emotional stress, and couldn't reject the possibility that the recent reports of developments in the police investigations severely harmed his health.
After all that time, you think they could have waited just a bit longer after Sharon had his first stroke. And after he was finished with his heart repair operation. There was an ongoing unseemly haste to destroy him politically and it worked better than expected.
Omri at Mere Rhetoric makes a similar point.
Recriminations are beginning. Hospital officials have linked his conditions to his legal troubles. Not to sound bitter, but if this wave of investigations against the Sharon family implodes like the last one, they may have just murdered a Prime Minster

The doctors, however, do seem sensitive to the public criticism of the blood thinning treatment they used, since they keep replying that it was the appropriate treatment. However, until more information about the case is known, the level of criticism about Sharon's medical treatment doesn't seem likely to dissipate any time soon.

Doctors also asked why Sharon wasn't required to stay in his Jerusalem residence instead of the ranch, at least while he was being treated with Claxon and until the procedure to mend the hole in his heart had been performed. Why wasn't a senior doctor at his side at all times, one who could have administered immediate treatment when the deterioration began?

Some of the questions suggest that Sharon and his aides' desire to show that the prime minister had returned swiftly to his daily routine resulted in inadequate treatment and supervision.

The senior doctors asked why Sharon's physicians had not insisted that he take a significant rest after the first stroke, as they would have done with any other patient. They asked to what extent political and media considerations were involved. They also asked why the catheterization was not performed earlier.

Other questions refer to why it took about two hours from the time Sharon felt unwell at his ranch to the time he arrived at the hospital emergency room at about 11 P.M., and why he wasn't taken to Soroka for preliminary treatment at least.

However, several other senior doctors told Haaretz on Thursday that the treatment Sharon received in the last two weeks was correct and adequate under the circumstances.

The director of a large hospital told Haaretz that according to the media reports on Sharon's medical treatment, he fears "there was indescribable negligence."

If the worst does come to pass about Sharon's post coma state, I sincerely hope that the new euthanasia law, recently passed by the knesset, and discussed here, doesn't end up having a bearing on his case.


In other news, Pat Robertson isn't the only nutter who sees in Sharon's stroke spiritual comeuppance for his decision to give up Gaza. He's been joined by the Jewish extremists who boast that they cursed Sharon with the ancient, Talmudic pulsei denura curse - Aramaic for lashes of fire. It is what - most famously - the angels use to lash archangel Metatron. It's been considered a kabbalistic curse for centuries.
"I take full responsibility for what happened," far-right activist Baruch Ben-Yosef, one of the participants at the July pulsa denura, told The Jerusalem Post. "Our pulsa denura kicked in. Nothing could kill Sharon and he said his ancestors lived until they over 100 years old but we got him with the pulsa denura."

On Wednesday night, Ben-Yosef and additional far-right activists gathered in the Samaria settlement of Kfar Tapuah to honor Binyamin Kahane - son of Meir Kahane - and his wife Talya who were murdered by Palestinian terrorists exactly five years ago. Upon hearing the news of Sharon's stroke, Ben-Yosef said, the group broke out in song and dance and celebrated the prime minister's fall throughout the night.

On Thursday, the activists said it was not a coincidence that Sharon fell gravely ill the same day as Kahane's murder. "There is a judge in this world," Ben-Gvir said. "[Prime minister] Yitzhak Rabin was killed on the fifth anniversary of Meir Kahane's murder and Sharon fell ill on the anniversary of Binyamin Kahane's murder."

On Thursday, Ben-Gvir held a party at his Hebron home to celebrate the "annulment of evil decrees against the people of Israel."...

"This is a great day for Israel since that evil man is gone." Dayan said. "I am convinced that God heard the prayers of the children in Gush Katif. When those kids were thrown from their homes they prayed and God heard their prayers."

Amongst some evacuees from Gaza, there was a reluctance to pray for Sharon; some even consulted with their rabbis as to whether they needed to respond to the chief rabbi's call for prayers.
Rabbi Shmuel Eliahu, Chief Rabbi of Safed and son of former Sephardi chief rabbi Mordechai Eliahu, said it was forbidden to pray for something one did not really believe in.

"If you fear that Sharon will continue to cause pain to Jewish families if he recovers, don't pray for him," said Eliahu in response to a question from a settler who was evacuated from Gaza. The question and answer appeared on Moriya, a religious Zionist Internet site.

The settler asked Eliahu if he had to pray for Sharon, as requested by the Chief Rabbinate, even if the prayers would be ingenuous.

"Do I have to lie? Should I pray, God forbid, that he dies?" asked the settler.

Eliahu answered that one should not pray for Sharon's demise, but at the same time it was forbidden to be ingenuous in prayer.
"If you really want Sharon to continue to lead this country, pray for him. But if you fear that if Sharon recovers he will continue to hurt, don't pray for him. Or pray that he will recover but will remain on his ranch."

And of course on the other extreme, off in his own little pole, there is Ahmadinejad.
Iran's president said Thursday he hoped for the death of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the latest anti-Israeli comment by a leader who has already provoked international criticism for suggesting that Israel be "wiped off the map."

"Hopefully, the news that the criminal of Sabra and Chatilla has joined his ancestors is final," President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by the semiofficial Iranian Students News Agency.

Ahmadinejad was referring to Sharon, who as defense minister in 1982 directed Israel's ill-fated invasion of Lebanon. An Israeli commission found him indirectly responsible for a massacre of Palestinians in the Sabra and Chatilla refugee camps by Christian Phalangist soldiers.

Iran's official media, including state-run radio and television, did not report Ahmadinejad's remarks about Sharon.

With regard to this issue of Iran and the months ahead, Powerline asks an important question whether Sharon's successor will possess enough cojones to make a credible threat to Iran, viz. the question of nuclear weapons.

If the threat of an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities is a card in a larger plan to deal with the problem, how credible will that threat be absent Sharon. If an Israeli attack is the plan to deal with the problem, how likely is Sharon's successor to launch the attack? My guess is that Israel has its strategy in place and, barring a victory by the left, will carry it through.

Saul Singer, editorial-page editor of the Jerusalem Post, describes Ariel Sharon, standing astride Israeli political culture like a colossus.


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