By Justin Udo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon has died at age 85 (read related story), and now many are reflecting on how his foreign policy helped change world views. KYW Newsradio spoke with a local expert about how Sharon’s foreign policy was viewed here in America.

Edward Turzanski, a political science professor at La Salle University, says Sharon will be remembered for two major decisions he made during his time in office.

“One having to do with what happened in Lebanon and Israel’s invasion of that country in the 1980’s,” he says.

The second decision, Turzanski says, is what really defined Sharon’s administration.

“The decision to unilaterally withdrawal from the Gaza strip and to hand that territory over to the Palestinian authority,” he says. “because in doing so, he illustrated the problems of trying to reach a peace accord with the Palestinians.”

Turzanski says what sticks out most about Sharon and his governing power was his belief that force had to be used to create diplomatic negotiations.

“He was the first to recognize that hard power is what makes soft power possible,” he says.

Turzanski says Sharon will be remembered as a very tough-minded individual.