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demographic time bomb and that to preserve Israel as Jewish and democratic, Israel could not remain in control of all the West Bank and Gaza. So he did what was previously unthinkable: he withdrew unilaterally from Gaza and dismantled the settlements there. Only someone who had built the settlements and also been tough on terror and never willing to "compromise on Israeli security" could have taken on the settler constituency in Israel. His main legacy will be that Israel will make its future choices based not on the biblical vision of the land of Israel but on the practical needs of the Israeli people.
Compiled by Coco Masters and Nadia Mustafa. For other reflections on Ariel Sharon's life, politics and legacy, visit time.com
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