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Community Leader Reacts To Death Of Israel’s Former Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon

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File picture dated 27 December 2005 shows Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon taking part in the lighting of a Hanukkah candle at his Jerusalem office. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert paid an emotional tribute to his mentor and ex-premier Ariel Sharon 04 January 2008, two years after the political giant slipped into a coma following a massive stroke. Sharon's condition has changed little since the 79-year-old 'Bulldozer' was rushed to a Jerusalem hospital on January 4, just six weeks after suffering a more minor stroke.  (Photo credit should read KEVIN FRAYER/AFP/Getty Images)

File picture dated 27 December 2005 shows Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon taking part in the lighting of a Hanukkah candle at his Jerusalem office. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert paid an emotional tribute to his mentor and ex-premier Ariel Sharon 04 January 2008, two years after the political giant slipped into a coma following a massive stroke. Sharon’s condition has changed little since the 79-year-old ‘Bulldozer’ was rushed to a Jerusalem hospital on January 4, just six weeks after suffering a more minor stroke. (Photo credit should read KEVIN FRAYER/AFP/Getty Images)

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DETROIT (WWJ) –  Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has died after eight years on life support.

Ariel Sharon. Dead at 85. Meanwhile here in metro Detroit — the Jewish Community Center Executive Director Robert Cohen says on the Sabbath — many are mourning the loss of a hero.

“His record of heroism, defending Israel and his record of courage in pursuing peace is something that is going to stand for the ages,” said Cohen. “History will remember Ariel Sharon as a war hero and a peace hero.”

“He was a strong leader and strong leaders sometimes attract controversy but strong leaders get things done,” he said.

Short and burly — he was 5-foot-7 and weighed well over 250 pounds before his debilitating stroke in 2006 – Sharon seemed larger than life.

Cohen said the man with the nickname ‘the bulldozer’ “When we thought of Sharon we did not think of an individual – who was in a coma, but a man who made his mark on history. We thought of him as a hero …”

Cohen says Sharon was a strong leader who attracted controversy — but still accomplished great things for Israel and advanced its’ cause for peace.

Read more about Sharon at CBSNews.com

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