The parents of the Israeli PM and general were born in Belarus
by i24 News
The National History Museum of Belarus on Monday inaugurated an exhibition about the life of the late Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon.
Titled “Profile of a Leader,” the exhibition opening was attended by diplomats, Jewish community leaders and Israeli guests connected to Sharon’s life, including his youngest son, Gilad, and Israel Maimon, who served as Sharon’s cabinet secretary.
“Ariel Sharon brought pride to Israel, but also to Belarus, where his roots lay,” said Yuri Ambrazevitch, a senior official of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported.
Sharon was born in pre-state Israel in 1928; his parents immigrated there from what is now Belarus.
The exhibition — featuring of dozens of photos of Sharon as well as quotes from his speeches and letters — was compiled by the Limmud FSU educational nonprofit.
“Russian-speaking Jews responded to Sharon’s warmth, they adored him,” said Limmud FSU founder Chaim Chesler, who knew Sharon. “He spoke Russian and would correct you if you made a mistake in Russian.”
Chesler added that “celebrating his life is celebrating world Jewry’s deep, deep roots in Belarus.”
The exhibition about Sharon, a former general and defense minister who died in January after eight years in a stroke-induced coma, opens with a quote from his 2005 address before the United Nations General Assembly, months after Israel pulled out of Gaza.
“If the circumstances had not demanded it, I wouldn’t have become a soldier but rather a farmer,” he said. “My first love was and remains farming, sowing and harvesting, the pastures, the flocks and the cattle.”
Israel has in recent years sought to tighten ties with the autocratic regime in Belarus, and last week a visa-waiver program was announced by the two governments.