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Shulamit Aloni Photo: Gaby Menashe
Shulamit Aloni Photo: Gaby Menashe
 
 

Mofaz, Barak unfit to lead

Security credentials, defense experience no indication of ability to lead nation

Shulamit Aloni
Published: 09.08.08, 19:05 / Israel Opinion

In light of the conduct of Knesset members and ministers of the crumbling government, and in response to Ehud Barak’s self-declared “wet dream” of becoming an education minister (and PM too, of course) I wanted to refer to an excerpt from Shai Agnon’s book, Shira, which explains why the world is not managed by wise people, but rather, by stupid and wicked ones – just something to think about ahead of the upcoming elections.

 

I also chose to refer to this passage in the face of yet another model citizen, Shaul Mofaz, who has been
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very active in advancing his desire to become prime minister, while pointing to Tzipi Livni’s “flaws” – he claimed that “she’s disloyal” – a rather odd comment coming from a man who in the past declared that “one does not leave his home,” and a day later proceeded to abandon Likud and come under Ariel Sharon’s wings in Kadima.

 

Mofaz wants to be PM and views himself as a model - an honest, open, and all-knowing man. As such, he is similar to most generals in recent generations who took power in South America and Africa.

 

Agnon wrote that wise people stay away from politics because they know there are wiser people out there, and wish for the wisest people to lead the world. Meanwhile, the fools and villains step in, assume leadership of the world, and lead it in line with their malice and folly. Agnon proceeded to note that once the fools take command of something, they will not let go, as otherwise they will have no other function in the world – and as such, they spend their days scheming just to keep the world in their hands.

 

And so, these two individuals, Ehud Barak and Shaul Mofaz, terrify me. In my view, they should be prevented from leading the country. Ever since the days of late Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, we’ve been talking of the need to set up a “National Security Agency” that would do research, sort information, and directly advise the prime minister and security cabinet. Had such agency existed, we can assume that the army’s state in respect to training, equipment, and the ability to deliver in the Second Lebanon War would have been better, and plenty of deaths, injuries, and destruction would have been avoided among soldiers, Israeli citizens, and Lebanese citizens. Moreover, our army would not have been dropping cluster bombs at population centers in violation of international conventions.

 

As Shaul Mofaz already declared that “the most important thing is security, security, security,” and that he is an expert on the subject and will personally deal with anything pertaining to the relationship with the Palestinians, it is completely clear that he will not be establishing such effective committee.

 

The wrong kind of experience 

As to “Mr. Security” Ehud Barak, who constantly emphasizes his wealth of experience and familiarity with security as well, he too will not be allowing a group of people who are not subordinated to him to advise him and his government, as he knows more than anyone else. He has been awarded numerous decorations and citations, but he got them not for leadership, but rather, for commando operations. Everyone knows that in the 1970s, dressed up as a woman, he was able to “eliminate” (as the IDF calls it) a Palestinian terrorist in his bed in Lebanon – well, great! But this is not the type of experience needed to lead a nation.

 

In the name of his military experience he is convinced that his place is at the head of the government, and as opposed to Mofaz he softens us up by declaring that he also wishes to deal with education. In any case, there is no chance he would be establishing an effective national security agency.

 

Mofaz’s and Barak’s experience is not an indication of leadership, responsibility, or loyalty. The same is true of Mofaz’s disloyalty to “a home one doesn’t leave”, his conduct as army chief who ignored the prime minister’s instructions during the evacuation from Lebanon, and also his repeated pledge that security is everything – as if science is unnecessary and culture is irrelevant.

 

And a final word about loyalty and responsibility, and Barak’s great experience: Didn’t he, after losing the elections as PM, abandon his party and instead of reviving it embarked on private business – later returning to us as a wealthy man in search of a second round?

 

Meanwhile, Tzipi Livni does not represent me, and I will certainly not be voting for her party – yet to be fair, and as opposed to both Barak and Mofaz, she would establish such national security agency, and as a lawyer would be able to ask the right questions.

 

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