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The friend

Advertising magnate Reuven Adler is considered Ariel Sharon's "best friend," the closest of all the close friends. Friends of the omnipotent premier are often suspected (not always justifiably) of friendship with a purpose, especially if they are businesspeople - whose friendship is liable to be interpreted as their profession. The burden of proof is therefore on those who seek to get close to the strongman, and succeed.

With my own eyes, I have seen many leaders abandoned the moment they are shorn of their robes of office. Sycophants naturally preserve their source of power - but only as long as it is still valuable, and they still benefit.

Sharon is still lying on his deathbed, yet some people are already proposing him for the top of the Kadima list, as if he were a mannequin, or a scarecrow. They say the idea came from Adler - the best friend. Thus publicity seeking overcame friendship. These are your friends, Arik - and with friends like these, especially in tough times, you seem to need enemies for consolation.

Death

This was the week for hurling accusations over who is the prime suspect in the premier's illness: the doctors who neglected, the journalists who disparaged or the politicians who made hay.

I'm the last man in Israel to defend Limor Livnat. What have I got in common with her, with her loud arrogance and her arrogant loudness; a quarrelsome woman and a fountain of shame without an ounce of humor.

And Tommy Lapid is far from my beloved. He is the man who discovered corruption in general, and Sharon family corruption in particular, only after throwing off the justice minister's mantle. What a missed opportunity.

Nonetheless, berating them or others as if they were somehow responsible for what happened to Sharon, and accusing them of being "accomplices to murder, metaphorically," as the media reported, is scandalous. If the two are "accomplices to murder," then they have a lot of company, including politicians and newsmen, and even I myself.

This tongue-lashing by Sharon's "associates" demands the mention of a few painful facts of life. First, in the end we all die, even veteran politicians whose legacy will remain with us forever. Second, the Grim Reaper could come upon us at any moment. And third - as people age, they develop an increasing tendency to die.

Our death, whether expected or unexpected, does not allow us to rewrite our biographies. Thus we are, and thus we will be remembered - for good or ill. Death does not give us retroactive immunity; at best, it might give us a pardon.

The test

I have often been asked why I do not think I will become prime minister, and I had all sorts of learned answers. Only now, belatedly, have I learned the real answer, after reading in newspapers of the test that awaits Sharon, which will determine whether he is fit to be prime minister or not. Sharon will be asked to cut paper with scissors, draw numbers on an empty clock, put a letter in an envelope, organize pictures of objects according to groups, and so forth. If I had known how to do all those things myself, I would have been prime minister long ago.