...Benny Morris, an Israeli historian and professor at Ben-Gurion University, said Sharon is seen by many as having a "complex and perhaps ambiguous" legacy. But what some view as flip-flopping, other historians see as a leader shifting to new realities to attain the singular driving force of his life.
Sharon uprooted settlements not as a peace-making gesture but "because he felt it was in Israel's interest for political and military reasons. He didn't believe the Palestinians were interested in peace," Morris said.
Some say the longtime battlefield commander should have known better than anyone not to cede power to an enemy as he did in Gaza, now controlled by an anti-Israeli terrorist group.
"The result of Sharon's 'disengagement' was a Hamas landslide victory in Gaza and years of missile barrages into Israeli cities," Israel Hayom columnist Ruthie Blum says.
Yisrael Medad, a right-wing Israeli journalist and author, said Sharon's "high-handedness in pushing through the cabinet vote on the disengagement in undemocratic fashion," as well as his decision to switch political parties, "caused a major lack of trust among his former allies in the national camp."
Morris says Sharon was in fact "a pragmatist."
"In a country under siege, and Israel has been under siege since its birth, the public looks to people who will secure its security and will only entrust its peacemaking to those who they believe will ensure their security."
Orbach, a lifelong member of the Likud Party, said she understood Sharon's decision to disengage from Gaza.
"It was a complicated situation. No one in Israel, or Egypt for that matter, wanted to rule Gaza, especially when our soldiers were being killed" safeguarding the settlements. "Unfortunately, the moment we left, the rockets started."
Robert Fayziyev, an Orthodox Jew who immigrated from New York to Jerusalem a year ago, says Sharon "was a great man." But history has shown he made the wrong decision, he says.
"The Torah says explicitly that the Land of Israel can't be given away. We've learned that lesson the hard way."