Reminiscing about the young lion (Ariel Sharon)

On most afternoons, veterans from Israel's 1948 war of independence can be found around a table at a cafe in central Tel Aviv.

They are contemporaries of Ariel Sharon, the lionized Israeli prime minister who lies in a coma after suffering a massive stroke.

For them, the end of Mr. Sharon's political career also signals something of a swan song for their generation, which came to Israel in the shadow of two world wars and then fought for the country's birth and survival.

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