Yoram Kaniuk
Photo: Michael Kramer

Oh Barak, how you’ve fallen

After leading Gaza war debacle, let’s hope Barak won’t set sights on our economy

One of the reasons cited by supporters of Ehud Barak’s needed participation in “saving the country” is the myth that he is a great defense minister. But he’s not.


Back when he was a major, people thought he’ll become chief of staff one of these days. Later he became a legendary fighter. Later he embarked on peace-making with the Palestinians, and after that he lost it: Along with an army chief the likes of which we never had in the IDF, he planned the worst war Israel had ever known. Instead of using subterfuge to carry out a limited yet powerful move, the two dispatched the Air Force, which could have razed France just the same, and ordered hundreds of tanks in, yet failed to bring any victory.


The opposite is true. They brought disaster upon Israel, because such war, where one uses giant stones to fight wise ants, can bring victory only to the other side. And this is what happened.


The man whom people were waiting for to plan a powerful and wise operation for years prompted wall-to-wall hatred against Israel, and even destroyed part of the army’s internal structure. Ultimately, Barak and his army chief managed, in the first time in Israel’s history, to turn a military act into a giant pogrom that left hundreds dead and razed numerous homes. Hamas went into hiding, laughed at us, and came out stronger: It was honored worldwide, and proved that it cannot be broken.


And now, this man is rushing to help Benjamin Netanyahu; because Netanyahu is isolated and scared. He has nobody to talk to in the camp he established hastily and unwisely. He only has Barak. Even if Barak joins on his own, Netanyahu needs him, because both of them are forged of the same materials.


Barak is searching for an outlet for regaining the wisdom he was gifted with but lost. Yet why should the members of his miserable party go along with him? After all, even with him this government won’t be able to survive vis-à-vis America. Obama is more interested in Iran than in Israel. After all, when Barak and Netanyahu are forced to dismantle outposts and stop building settlements they will have to do it. This time around, Barak cannot betray them, as he did in the years he was asked to dismantle the outposts yet hid behind lies.


There are no longer secrets in the world. After Netanyahu and Barak are ultimately forced to dance to the American flute, some Likud members and most members of the rightist, radical and religious government will protest and vote themselves out.


Barak’s foolish games

The Labor party shall decide whether to play Barak’s foolish game, seek perks, or aspire for reviving the party that established the State and whose members led most of its wars. Yet perhaps they will prefer to surrender to someone like Shalom Simhon, who fears that nobody will remember him once he is no longer a minister – and he’s right – and join Barak on a great campaign of deception.


After all, should Barak join the government because of the economic situation and show the same understanding he did in the only war he ever led, our economy will not only collapse; it will disappear. Since when can he help the economy?


No, the Labor party must not allow Netanyahu to establish a radical rightist government that is much more dangerous than Hamas, just so Bibi will have someone to talk to. For that, there is no need to dismantle a party with a glorious past that once had a future. Today, with Barak, the future is dissipating.


Oh, how heroes have fallen. How you destroyed yourself, Barak. You and Netanyahu are similar in many ways, but mostly you’re similar in that you both lack what in the Palmach we used to refer to as “character.”


פרסום ראשון: 03.24.09, 12:20
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