World News

Twitter Comments on Sharon, From Rage to Praise

As news of former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon's death spread, people around the world took to Twitter to express their thoughts about the controversial leader.

Comments ranged from praise...

"The King of Israel, Ariel Sharon - Dead at 85. REST IN PEACE [...]"
-Bernard B. Kerik @BernardKerik

Former NYC Correction and Police Commissioner and proven leader in crisis management, national security, and advocate for US criminal justice and prison reform.

"A lion of Israel has died. RIP Ariel Sharon, who fought the good fight [...]"
-Carol Platt Liebau ‏@CPLiebau
Author, political commentator, substitute radio talk show host, (non-practicing!) attorney -- and a happy wife and mother.
Near NYC

... to rage.

"Our region will never find peace so long its people make heroes out of monsters. Be it Assad or Gaddafi or Saddam or, yes, Sharon."
-Iyad El-Baghdadi ‏@iyad_elbaghdadi
I startup startups, tweet revolutions, and make fun of tyrants. Islamic libertarian. #ArabTyrantManual #ArabSpringManifesto - Dubai, UAE

"#Palestine #Lebanon #Sabra #Shatilla #Beirut #Jenin #Qibya Will never forgive you #sharon. Suffer in hell. [...]
-Daleen Elshaer ‏@DaleenElshaer
Simple Woman in a Complex World, Washington, DC

Some even engaged in an online debate about how Mr. Sharon should be remembered. One tweet by an employee of the Israel Defense Forces...

"RIP Maj Gen Ariel Sharon,who courageously pushed back enemies in the Six Day War as well as in 1973. #IDF salutes and remembers."
-Avital Leibovich ‏@AvitalLeibovich
Head of the Interactive Media Branch(social media) in the Israel Defense Forces, married and a mother of 3 kids, a proud Israeli. Former spokesperson to int press

...was answered by critics:

"@AvitalLeibovich And brutally massacred and/or aided the murder of countless innocent Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza AND Lebanon.
-Uri Horesh ‏@urihoresh
أوري حورش. إنسان. I have opinions - Chicago, Illinois ·

"@AvitalLeibovich you mean illegally invaded 4 territories 3 of which are still illegally occupied & oversaw the savage murder of thousands"
- Greg Manahan ‏@GregFManahan
Producer Director iDirect Productions, Dublin - mostly

"@AvitalLeibovich what about the 1,700 Palestinians massacred in the Sabra & Shatila refugee camps by Sharon?!!
-Jude Al-khalidi ‏@JKhalidi48
PALESTINIAN AND PROUD OF IT. Anti zionist.Supporter for freedom and justice . !صامدون SLTC'13 <3

Some journalists set aside objectivity when commenting on the Sharon story:

"Don't even try to impose the speak-no-ill-of-the-recently-deceased 'rule' for Ariel Sharon."
-Glenn Greenwald ‏@ggreenwald
Journalist - author, With Liberty & Justice for Some- dog/animal fanatic

"'The Bulldozer' to many Israelis, 'The Butcher' to many Palestinians [...]"
-BBC Breaking News ‏@BBCBreaking
Breaking news alerts and updates from the BBC.

And the divergent views kept pouring in for hours:

"Israel has today lost an important leader". Read the PM's statement on the death of Ariel Sharon #Sharon"
-UK Prime Minister ‏@Number10gov
The official twitter channel for Prime Minister David Cameron's office, based at 10 Downing Street.

"Shame that Sharon died without facing justice for his role in terrible abuses and crimes. From his days in Unit 101 to Sabra & Chatila"
-Nadim Houry, @nadimhoury
Human Rights Watch deputy director for Middle East/North Africa. All views, unless specified otherwise, are personal and do not represent HRW.

"#UNSG saddened by the death of former PM of #Israel Ariel Sharon: "
-UN Spokesperson ‏@UN_Spokesperson
Official Twitter account of the Office of the Spokesperson for United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
New York, USA

"This lovely bright sunny day and the news of Sharon's death is exactly what I needed to brighten my mood, All Praise be to Allah :)
-Mujib ‏@Mujib93_
20. / East London

"A mass murderer can be kept alive by expensive life support machines but a Palestinian baby will die from lack of basic medicines. #Sharon"
-Naveed ‏@Seditious_Medic
Interests in Social and Political affairs. NHS Doctor. Sarcasm and satire keep me going. United Kingdom

"Fare thee well Ariel Sharon. You did Israel a great honor and we respect you for that [...]"
-Mudega Oscar. ‏@mudegaosca
Mudega Oscar is a liberal Media Practioner. He believes in equality for all irrespective of race, gender or status.

To follow the conversation yourself, head to And be sure to follow the Voice of America at @VOA_News .

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