Observer He never intended an equitable solution in Israel: "In a remarkable transformation, the man now lying in a coma in an Israeli hospital has emerged these past five years as the single most dominant political personality in Israel's history, overshadowing even Ben-Gurion's mythic role as founding father of the state.
Most Israelis came to believe that Ariel Sharon was the only person able to solve the Palestinian conflict. Alternatively, if the conflict were to continue, he was the man they trusted to manage it in a manner that assured Israel's stability and security.
This view of Sharon is only partly correct. He was, indeed, uniquely able to make the compromises without which an agreement with the Palestinians is unattainable. It is difficult to imagine another Israeli leader who could retain popular support for the return of most of the West Bank, along the lines suggested in the Clinton proposal of January 2001, and compensate Palestinians for the retention by Israel of the major settlement blocs adjoining the pre-1967 border with comparable territory within Israel. The same is true of allowing the Arab-populated parts of Jerusalem to serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.
If it were true that a negotiated agreement with the Palestinians incorporating these unavoidable 'concessions' were the strategic goal of the 'new' Sharon, his departure from the political scene would be grievous. But Sharon had no intention of making such concessions, nor is there any basis for the expectation that there will ever be a Palestinian leader willing or able to accept an agreement that does not include these provisions."