Op-Ed: Barak and Netanyahu - Politically Bonded Siamese Twins
Prof. Paul EidelbergProf. Paul Eidelberg (Ph.D. University of Chicago), former officer U.S. Air Force, is the founder and president of the Israel-America Renaissance Institute (I-ARI), www.i-ari.org, with offices in Jerusalem and Philadelphia. He has written several books on American and on Jewish Statesmanship. His magnum opus The Judeo-Scientific Foundations of American Exceptionalism: Today’s Choice for the “Almost Chosen People" is in process of publication. Prof. Eidelberg lives in Jerusalem.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak has criticized certain candid remarks made by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman against Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Barak’s criticism came in the wake of comments Lieberman made after Abbas’ venomous speech against Israel to the UN General Assembly. "Lieberman's pronouncements about Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas,” said Barak, “do not represent the policy of the State of Israel and harm its interests.”
Leaving aside his criticism of Lieberman, what prompts Barak to come to Abbas’ defense? After all, as head of Fatah, the leading faction of the PLO-Palestinian Authority, Abbas is no less committed to Israel's destruction than Hamas leader Ismail Haniya.
The first thing to be noted is that Defense Minister Barak advocates unilateral disengagement from Judea and Samaria. His boss, PM Netanyahu, endorsed the creation of a Palestinian state in June 2009. Barak of Labor and Netanyahu of Likud are politically bonded Siamese twins.
Each behaves as if they have learned nothing from the consequences of Israel’s unilateral disengagement from Gaza. Gaza, now called Hamastan, is armed by Iran and can readily become an existential threat on Israel’s border. It’s imperative that the people of Israel know something about the obtuse mentality of Netanyahu’s Defense Minister.
Ehud Barak holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Generally speaking, one does not get a bachelor’s degree without having taken courses in the social sciences.
It so happens that the social sciences are permeated by the doctrine of moral relativism or moral equivalence. This doctrine seems to have influenced the curriculum of Israel’s Command and Staff College. I say this because the late Professor Y. Harkabi, a self-professed relativist, once headed that College. In fact, Harkabi, the mentor of Shimon Peres, also held the post of Director of Military Intelligence, and, like Peres, advocated a Palestinian state—the position of Ehud Barak. Let’s connect some dots.
Ariel Sharon also attended the Command and Staff College, and he too was tainted by relativism. Thus, while Jews were being reduced to body parts by Arabs suicide bombers, then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said, in an April 2001 interview with Haaretz, that his son Omri taught him “not to think in terms of black and white.”
Since relativists see only grey, it’s psychologically difficult for them to believe wholeheartedly in the justice of their nation’s cause, let alone in Israel’s world-historical mission. This may explain why Harkabi’s book, Arab Attitudes to Israel—some 450 pages documenting the murderous hatred of Arab leaders—is dedicated to both Arabs and Jews! It is almost as if a mental disorder underlies moral relativism.
Although Benjamin Netanyahu is not an avowed relativist, he is he inhibited by the pervasive influence of relativism in academia and in the media—both in Israel and America. Moral relativism infects the entire democratic world. It inclines democratic politicians like Barak to be silent about evil and even to criticize those who expose evil-doers such as Mahmoud Abbas.
Moreover, the political atmosphere of the West has been so polluted by moral relativism, that decent statesmen like Netanyahu feel pressured to hence appease evil. It is in this light that we are to understand why Netanyahu, who is not a relativist, succumbs to the pressure of negotiating with that cesspool of evil, the PLO-Palestinian Authority. Is not his oft-stated policy of "reciprocity" a manifestation of moral equivalence, hence a denial of evil—a denial that emasculates him and saps any righteous desire to quash that network of villains?
Contrast Ronald Reagan who referred to the Soviet Union as the "evil empire" and was therefore psychologically inclined and morally committed to bringing down that tyranny.
But we were speaking of Ehud Barak, who in an interview once said, "If I were a Palestinian at the right age, I would have joined one of the terrorist organizations at a certain stage."* Some may deem this the utterance of a fool, but it is quite consistent with moral relativism. Since this doctrine influences the mentality of prime ministers, must we not assume that it taints their policies: first the Peres-orchestrated PLO-Israel Agreement of 1993, then the Sharon-orchestrated withdrawal from Gaza, and now Ehud Barak’s endorsement of unilateral disengagement from Judea and Samaria?
Ehud Barak endangers Israel's survival. He is psychologically and morally unfit to be Israel's Defense Minister. But given Israel’s system of coalition cabinet government, he can’t be dismissed by Netanyahu without bringing down this government.
This irrational political system has made Labor Minister Barak and Likud Minister Netanyahu politically bonded Siamese twins.