Barak's Theatre of the Absurd

Here is the lowdown on the Defense Minister. The right has been saying it all along, and the left has now joined the anti Barak calls for its own reasons.
Obama likes him.

Dr. Moshe Dann,

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Defense Minister Ehud Barak's handling of the flotilla trying to enter Gaza is yet another example of his ineptitude and irresponsibility. (for news article on leftist demonstration calling for his resignation, click here.)


Stopping the large Gaza-bound ship could have been carried out below the water-line, or by an assault on the bridge, using smoke bombs and tear gas to take control. Dropping individual soldiers into a mob of hostile people
His history of misusing power and lack of leadership goes back to the 1973 Yom Kippur War, at least.
lacks reason, even if it had worked before. Each situation is different. 
 
The confrontation could have been handled, to use an Israeli expression that rhymes,  with "moach (brains) rather than koach (brute strength).  But that's not Barak's way. His history of misusing power and lack of leadership goes back to the 1973 Yom Kippur War, at least. 
 
In 1973 Barak botched a rescue operation at the "Chinese Farm" battle near the Suez Canal and failed to rescue soldiers under the command of Gen Yitzhak Mordechai.
 
In 1982, during Operation Peace For Galilee, in which Israel attacked PLO and terrorist groups in Lebanon, Barak commanded the IDF in the eastern region of South Lebanon. He ordered an attack at Sultan Yakub, in which Israeli soldiers were ambushed by Syrian Army commandos and PLO guerilla units. Over-powered and with heavy losses, the IDF unit repeatedly begged for help to rescue them. Barak failed to respond. In that battle, 23 IDF soldiers were killed and three were captured: Zachary Baumel, Zvi Feldman and Yehuda Katz. Missing in action, their fate is still unknown.

In 1984, the Mossad had located two ships in a North African port that intended to carry out terrorist attacks from the sea. "The navy proposed sinking them while was still at anchor, for once on the high seas it would be difficult to locate them. The director of MI at the time, Ehud Barak, was one of those who were against the idea." It took 30 months to find one ship again, and sink it. The second ship was later apprehended with 8 terrorists on board and it too was sunk.  

 
Five years later, when the "first Intifada" broke out Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin assigned Ehud Barak  Amiram Mitzna and Dan Shomron – whose political views trumped military necessity -- to quell the rebellion. They failed miserably. This not only encouraged Palestinian terrorists, especially Fatah and Hamas, but led to the PLO's rehabilitation and the disastrous Oslo Accords in 1993, which COS Barak implemented.

in 1984, the Mossad had located two ships in a North African port that intended to carry out terrorist attacks from the sea.

 "The navy proposed sinking it while it was still at anchor, for once on the high seas it would be difficult to locate. The director of MI at the time, Ehud Barak, was one of those who were against the idea." It took 30 months to find the ship again, and sink it. The second ship was later apprehended with 8 terrorists on board and it too was sunk.  


 
According to Reuven Pedatzur, writing in the Hebrew Haaretz, November 5, 2000, "On the eve of the Gulf War [1990], a decision to scuttle the project [to purchase submarines] was taken at the IDF General Staff: that is, to leave the navy without any submarines at all. Only the stricken conscience of Helmut Kohl, the German chancellor, after the extent of German aid to the Iraqis became known, led to the decision to fund the submarines. Thus, it was German money that saved the submarine project…"
 
"The General Staff's decision is cause for concern because all those who took part in the discussion knew very well, based on intelligence estimates, that within a small number of years Israel would be threatened by nuclear
weapons. It is difficult to fathom how those who are supposed to be familiar with and to understand strategic thinking in the modern era decided to give up the strategic potential inherent in submarines."
 
"[The] person who led the opposition to building the submarines in that discussion, and the person whose position prevailed in the end, was none other than the person who served at the time as deputy chief of staff, Ehud Barak." [Thanks to Aaron Lerner of IMRA for this reference]
 
In 1992, during a training exercise at the Tze'elim base, a missile hit a unit by mistake, killing 5 soldiers and seriously wounding 6 more. Watching this tragedy, COS Barak did nothing to help, and refused to allow his helicopter to be used in the rescue operation. He was severely criticized for his behavior.
 
As Prime Minister in 1999, Barak gave away the entire gas and oil fields off the Gaza coast to the PA -- for nothing, and without conditions; he never explained his decision.
 
In May, 2000, PM Barak ordered a retreat from South Lebanon. Although the action was debatable, it was felt that he capitulated to the "Four Mothers" group, that wanted their soldier sons out of danger.  The chaotic manner in which it was carried out, and the abandonment of the SLA, has been widely condemned. Barak's action gave the Hizbullah its first, encouraging victory. 
 
At Camp David and Taba in 2000, he offered Yassir Arafat nearly all of the area conquered in the 1967 Six Day War, including most of eastern Jerusalem, without understanding that Arafat was planning a major terrorist insurgency.
 
Barak not only failed to anticipate the Second Intifada in 2000 when it broke out, but failed to put it down decisively.
 
In October, 2000, at the outbreak of the Second Intifada War, Arabs attacked Joseph's Tomb, in Shechem (Nablus). An IDF soldier, Madkat Yusuf, was trapped inside and critically wounded and the unit was under fire. Prime Minister Barak and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz refused rescue the soldiers and Yusuf bled to death.
 
After resigning in 2001, Barak went into business, using his name and contacts to amass a small fortune. According to a report in Haaretz (May 25, 2007) by Gidi Weitz and Uri Blau, in 2002, Barak formed a company, "Ehud Barak, Ltd," which quickly made (up to that time) almost NIS 30 million, as reported in the Israeli press.

"As prime minister and former chief of staff, Barak receives more than MIS 400,000. In addition the state funded his bureau at a cost of NIS 3.2 million in 2004 and NIS 1.8 in 2005." They estimated Barak's total annual income at NIS 10 million. Barak was involved in a number of companies and hedge funds. His business interests today are held by members of his family.
 
Barak was an enthusiastic supporter of the Disengagement from Gaza and Northern Shomron in 2005, which
Barak spent a million NIS of Defense Ministry funds on a Paris-weekend for himself, his wife and staff.
displaced 9,000 Israelis and led to Hamas' takeover of the Gaza Strip.
 
In October, 2009, Globes carried a major expose of Barak's financial connections. That year, Barak spent a million NIS of Defense Ministry funds on a Paris-weekend for himself, his wife and staff. 
 
In January, 2009, as Defense Minister, he was directly responsible for the Cast Lead Operation in Gaza, which was carried out in the shadow of the failures of the Second Lebanon War and looming elections. While the action to stop terrorists was necessary, it resulted in the Goldstone Report and international condemnation, Hamas remained in power, more smuggling tunnels were built, and Gilad Shalit is still in captivity.   
 
At the Herzliya Conference in 2010, he offered unilateral withdrawal and begged the PA to assume power in Judea and Samaria. Otherwise, he warned, "Israel was in danger of becoming an apartheid nation."  This ignores serious security issues, denies reality, and substitutes nightmares instead of critical thinking.
 
Barak's defeatism and arrogance, his political agenda and his poor military judgment are simply not in Israel's interests. PM Netanyahu may need the Labor Party for his coalition, may think including the Labor Party makes him more palatable to the world, but why does it have to include Ehud Barak as Defense Minister?
 





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