Watch out! Defense Minister Ehud Barak is about to unleash his "genius" upon us, again.
"There is no way to rehabilitate ties with the (US) Administration without presenting an assertive political program that will address the core issues of a final settlement with the Palestinians," Barak told Netanyahu and his other colleagues. "It is necessary to make decisions and take genuine political steps."
That means more Israel concessions to Palestinian terrorists: unilateral withdrawal and destruction of Jewish communities. A second (or third) Arab Palestinian state.
Barak's bungling of the Gaza flotilla created even more problems for beleaguered Israel. But at least he is consistent.
1973: He commanded a failed rescue mission in Sinai
1982: He was the commanding officer at Sultan Yakub, where an IDF unit was ambushed and 23 soldiers were killed and three captured (and are still missing.)
1984: He vetoed eliminating terrorist ships that had been identified in a North African harbor; they escaped and it took almost three years to track them down again
1987: He failed to put down the first Intifada.
1990: He vetoed buying Israel's first submarines
1999: He gave away the entire gas and oil fields off the Gaza coast to the PA without any reason
2000: He retreated from south Lebanon in chaos, abandoned the SLA and allowed Hezbollah to take over; at Camp David, he offered Arafat nearly the entire West Bank, Gaza and most of eastern Jerusalem; he allowed an IDF soldier to bleed to death at Joseph's Tomb; he failed to put down the second Intifada.
Noose is tightening
Barak's failure to anticipate the danger to IDF soldiers sent to stop the Gaza flotilla, his stubborn refusal to consult military and intelligence experts, and his inadequate preparation for the PR onslaught afterwards has encouraged Israel's enemies. It will certainly lead to more confrontations at sea, and may trigger an escalation of attacks on Israel, which may draw in fleets from other countries.
Barak's clumsy and sloppy decisions are not unusual, for him, and are leading Israel into a crisis. If future Gaza-bound flotillas are protected by ships of other nations, Israel will have two choices: Surrender, or attack these ships. One cannot underestimate the potentially explosive consequences that could spark a regional war against Israel.
Combined with growing hostility towards Israel, de-legitimization and demonization, and condemnation by the US Administration, Israel is becoming more isolated and vulnerable.
The noose is tightening as pressure builds on Israel to give up its reported nuclear weapons, withdraw to the 1949 Armistice lines, give up eastern Jerusalem (including the Temple Mount), and evacuate the Golan Heights.
Not surprisingly, criticism of Barak's failures have been muted, or non-existent. With a history of poor military and strategic decision-making, however, his continued presence endangers Israel.
Barak's defeatism and arrogance, his political agenda, and his faulty judgment are simply not in Israel's interests. PM Netanyahu may need the Labor Party for his coalition, but why does it have to include Ehud Barak?
The author is a writer and journalist living in Jerusalem