From the AP:
Ariel Sharon suffered a cerebral hemorrhage Wednesday and was receiving breathing assistance while under general anesthetic, a hospital official said. Power was transferred to his deputy.
Sharon, 77, suffered a “significant” stroke and was brought to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital from his ranch in the Negev desert, an official said. Channel 2 TV said Sharon was suffering from paralysis in his lower body and was taken into the hospital on a stretcher.
If Ariel Sharon is indeed severely incapacitated (or worse) due to this stroke, the upcoming Israeli election will be thrown into chaos.
Sharon, one of the original founders of the conservative Likud Party, had recently left Likud and created a new, centrist Kadima Party from which to run for reelection. His major opponents were to be Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud, and Amir Peretz of the leftist Labor Party.
But if Sharon is unable to function as the leader of Kadima, this new party could collapse altogether. That would lead to a two-way matchup between hard-line Netanyahu and dovish Peretz.
If that occurs, I predict a massive landslide for Netanyahu (especially in light of the gains terrorists have made in Gaza since the departure of the Israeli military). And I can pretty much guarantee the Palestinians will be dancing in the street in “celebration” of Sharon’s misfortune…