Ariel Sharon is mostly a right-wing hawk, but this week, he did a fantastic thing. He stood up to those crazy ultra-right-wing settlers who move into Palestinian land (or what ultimately should be Palestinian land). These settlers are Israel's version of the milita men. They are fueled by religious (in this case, Jewish) fundamentalism and stop at nothing to get their way, even if their hostile, aggressive actions incite widespread resentment among the Palestinians against the whole country of Israel. Their selfish settlements help to create the swamp where terrorism can fester -- no only against Israel but for the whole Al Queda movement. Sharon was a big backer of the settlers when they first moved in, but now, he has seen the light and is pulling them out.
And that wasn't easy. His conservative coalition went nuts. But somehow, he managed to force through the smart, sane policy of bulldozing those settlements.
I'm very critical of the Sharon government in Israel, but this is the best thing he's ever done. Times like this make me glad we're sending billions over there, because in a real way, getting rid of those settlements helps to make the U.S. safer too.