JERUSALEM (Apr. 11)
A former close aide to Premier Menachem Begin and a key member of the Herut Party’s young generation believes that Ariel Sharon must be removed from public life.
Now that the Israel Defense Force has almost completed its withdrawal from Lebanon, Sharon, the man who got Israel into that quagmire in the first place, has to go too, according to Arye Naor, who was Cabinet Secretary in Begin’s first government — 1977-81.
Naor, writing in the weekly Koteret Rashit, maintained that Premier Shimon Peres owes it to his voters and Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir owes it to his conscience “to send Sharon home as the last boys come home from Lebanon.” He characterized Sharon as “the architect of the war he promised to finish in two days.”
Sharon, Minister of Commerce and Industry in the present national unity government, was Defense Minister in the Likud-led government when Israel invaded Lebanon in June, 1982. Early in 1983, the Kahan Commission found him indirectly responsible for the Shatila and Sabra refugee camps massacres the previous September and he was forced to resign.
Naor, a staunch Herut loyalist who served as liaison between Begin’s Cabinet and the media, was himself forced to resign because of unauthorized links he had with a well known journalist. He wrote in Koteret Rashit: “The IDF is withdrawing from Lebanon bruised and injured, not by terrorists and guerrillas but by Ariel Sharon who tricked the Premier and other ministers.”