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 · northwestern.academia.edu/UriHoresh

    "@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

    Many journalists' comments reflected the wide range of opinions about Sharon:

    "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 http://ow.ly/su9yp #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.
    Beirut

    "#UNSG saddened by the death of former PM of #Israel Ariel Sharon: http://bit.ly/1c3YdMZ "
    -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.
    Nairobi

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

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora