Tag Archives: Barak

Ehud Barak–Israel Must Act–Now!

Once upon a time in the distant past the nation of Israel was admired for its commitment to peace and willingness to

compromise

with Arab countries. Ah, those were the good old days when Arab terrorists were the pariahs of the world. However, under the administration of Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu, and his gang of seven religious fanatics Israel has become among the most isolated places on this planet. Defense Minister Ehud Barak urged the prime minister and the Cabinet to get off their butts and begin considering how Israeli’s actions are viewed in the world outside. He is particularly concerned how the Obama administration regards Netanyahu’s refusal to compromise on anything, particularly since there is evidence American generals interpret Israeli obstinacy as a block to regional peace. According to Barak: “there is no way to rehabilitate ties with the administration without pushing an assertive political program that will address the core issues of a final settlement with the Palestinians.” If there is no change, ‘Israel’s isolation will only intensify”

Step one for Israel is to focus on the impact of their actions, not only on Palestinians, but on how they are viewed in the world. Responding to criticism that “anti-semitism” is the reason why nations oppose Israel actions has become boring and only reinforces Israeli isolation by allowing its people to retreat into Victimhood land.

Now Or Never In Middle East?

Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak spoke bluntly when calling upon Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “make some difficult decisions” and proceed with peace discussions even though everything has not been worked out in detail. The PLO executive committee on Sunday approved a proposal allowing the Palestinian president to begin indirect negotiations with Israel through assistance from American mediation. Palestinian officials made clear they would walk away from any further talks unless there was real progress within four months. President Abbas had been refusing to have any talks until Israel halted further housing development on the West Bank. Barak expressed the feelings of many Israelis. “I hope that these discussions will advance the political process with the Palestinians in a manner that will enable quick resumption of actual negotiations on core issues..”

The key point made by Barak is simply this: “Israel’s leaders today have the responsibility to ensure that we don’t miss this chance and that requires leadership and the intention to make difficult decisions.” Amen!

Ehud Barak: Support US Peace Efforts!

Israel Defense Minister, among the few in the Cabinet who has a sense of reality, emphasized the importance of his nation doing everything in its power to work in a cooperative way with President Obama. He noted American representatives have been working with both Arab and Israelis and “they will present their plan for a regional peace. I believe that Israel must join in on the up-swing.” Of course, Israel must confront certain realities such as demands by Syria for a pull-back to 1967 lines and from Palestinian leaders that 1967 borders must be respected.

The bottom line is Israel must choose from focusing on the present and immediate past or working toward an enduring peace that results in Israel becoming an integral part of the Middle East with full diplomatic and economic equality with all other nations. Yes, Arabs have refused in the past to recognize Israel, but the Arab League has already agreed to grant that recognition in exchange for peace based on 1967 lines.

The people in Ireland worked over a half century in order to secure peace and each side could trot out its anger at lies told by the opposition. But, in the end, rational thinking prevailed and peace was achieved.

Who Is In Charge Of Israel?

Last week while meeting with President Obama, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to evacuate illegal settlements on the West Bank and allow natural growth of existing settlements. Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, when hearing what the prime minister agreed to with Obama, described their understanding as “utter nonsense.” He insisted there was need to develop a comprehensive stance on regional issues rather than concentrating on “minutiae” of West Bank outpost evacuations. In the meantime, Defense Ministeer Ehud Barak emphasized the need to make clear to Americans there was no link between illegal outposts on the West Bank and dealing with Iran. He said there was need to engage in dialogue with residents of West Bank settlements, but if they would not agree to dismantle illegal outposts, he would recommend use of moderate force.

Exactly what is the policy of Israel in regard to West Bank settlements and exactly who is in charge of making those decisions? Netanyahu hired Lieberman knowing the man was a loose cannon and he must now live with the decision of having someone in his cabinet who believes the prime minister’s ideas are “utter nonsense.”

Abbas Spells Out Views On Peace With Israel

The new Israel government has been presented with a road map to peace by President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. On a visit to Baghdad, he spelled out exactly what he requires from an Israel government. It would have “to accept the creation of a Palestinian states, stop construction in West Bank Israel settlements, and remove army roadblocks crippling life in the West Bank so that we can resume dialogue in order to reach a political settlement.” The statement merely reflects positions he has been stating for over a year, but unfortunately, his words have yet to register on the minds of several Israeli leaders.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that within days his administration would spell out their ideas concerning peace with the Palestinian Authority. However, on one hand, his foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, has made clear he is not bound by past agreements and has no enthusiasm for a Palestinian state while Defense Minister Ehud Barak says the government is bound by past agreements and must work toward a Palestinian state.

We hope all readers are now clear as to the policy of the current Israel government.

Israel Labor Party Betrays Its Heritage

The Israel Labor Party once was led by giants such as David Ben-Gurion or Golda Meier who believed in an Israel which worked with Palestinians to create a prosperous and peaceful Middle East. Yesterday, Ehud Barak, sold out his party and its soul by pushing through his Labor’s convention a proposal to join the right wing racist government of Benjamin Netanyahu who has appointed Avigdor Lieberman as the new foreign minister. Labor will now become part of a coalition government which includes representatives of every demagogue in Israel who believes acting in a bellicose manner is the path to peace with Palestinians.

The people of Israel need opposition party that stands for peace and equality with Palestinians. Now, more than ever, Israel must express a non-racist view which welcomes Palestinians as brothers and sisters. Avigdor Lieberman is a virulent racist who is a disgrace to the history of Israel and its former leaders. Many must be turning over in their graves at news that Labor has joined with the crowd now in charge of the nation.

Which Way Israel–Right Or Left?

The nation of Israel is fast approaching a critical point in its history as forces of right wing anti-Muslim hatred seek to gain control and force their nation to be outcast from the world. Labor leader and Defense Minister Ehud Barak said his party would seriously consider an offer from prime minister designate Benjamin Netanyahu to join his Cabinet. Barak said the good of the nation might require his party to join with right wing groups that have absolutely nothing in common with historic Labor views on Israel relations with Arab nations. Netanyahu is offering Labor some seats in the Cabinet, but in becoming part of this coalition, Barak risks associating his party with right wing demagogue Avigdor Lieberman who is hated in the Arab world and not respected in Europe or, most probably, in the United States.

MK Shelly Yacimovich, said aligning with Netanyahu risks giving a seal of approval to “the worst government in the country’s history” and most probably will result in the end of the Labor party. Which way, Labor, join a right wing group bent on destroying Israel’s reputation in the world or standing apart and hoping to make the people of Israel aware of dangers facing their country with Netanyaju and Lieberman in charge?

Israel Trying To Influence US Policy Towards Iran

Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned the United States to have a short time interval in its negotiations with Iran and not wait until Iran has developed its nuclear program. “There is a serious Iranian effort to make swift achievements, and time is running out.” He urged Obama to tighten sanctions and force Iran to the bargaining table. Barack also emphasized that his nation is not taking “any options off the table” and hinted there was a possibility of an Israel air attack. “We mean what we say” was his refrain.

The last people to offer suggestions concerning policy towards Iran are members of the Israel government which has repeatedly blundered due to its policy of “toughness” and “threats” and “warnings.” What exactly are the fruits of the current government of which Barak is a member? Has the process toward peace moved forward or is Israel worse off today than it was in 2001 when their beloved George Bush became president?

President Obama should proceed quietly, cautiously and with due regard for the integrity of the Iranian people. Shouting threats will only doom any chance for peaceful negotiations.

Is Israel Defense Minister Barak Interested In Peace?

Mohammed Shehada, head of the Islamic Jihad’s military wing and four associates were told by Egyptian mediators that a truce was now in effect and they could safely return to their homes in Bethlehem which recently had been bulldozed into rubble by the Israel military. As they left the scene, all five were killed in a hail of bullets from members of a special unit of the Israel army. Tens of thousands of Palestinians attended funerals of the men in scenes of anger and mourning that were shown all over the Middle East. Saleh Al-Naam, writing in al -Ahram, raises the question as to whether Israel is committed to the roadmap to peace or is it pursuing its own political and personal policies toward Palestinians.

He regards Defence Minister Ehud Barak as central to efforts to destroy peace efforts and quotes a recent statement: “Israel is committed to pursuing Palestinian resistance fighters who have been nvolved in opertions” that result in death to Israelis. Deputy Defense Minister Amos Harel insists “We will not allow the Palestinians to determine for us the timing, location or conditions of security operations.” Al Naami charges there is a deliberate program in effect by some members of the Israel government to destroy peace efforts in order to find justification for continued construction of housing on the West Bank as well as hoping chaos only results in continued division among Palestinians. He quotes Israel intellelctual Gideon Levy who recently wrote in Haaretz: “Barak hasn’t talked about peace for a long time and he surely doesn’t believe in the peaceful efforts of Olmert. In fact, he does all he can to destroy what little remains of them.”

Among the most important steps Prime Minister Olmert can make in the peace process is firing Barak and placing the Defence Ministry under control of someone who is committed to peace. Barak operates on the assumption Israel should retain the power to make unilateral determinations as to how the peace process will unfold. If a truce has been arranged it must include ceasing of military operations by all parties, not just one.

Condi Rice Shuttling For Peace

Secretary of State Rice, returning from a rather frosty meeting in Moscow with President Putin, began a series of meetings with Israel and Palestinian leaders. She immediately emphasized her visit should not be regarded as one which will lead to anything substantial since she was mainly trying to obtain commitments from both sides they agree on the need for an outline as to what will happen at the Annapolis meeting. Defense Minister Barak said any agreement must ensure the Israel Defense Force (IDF) retained the right of free movement on the West Bank since that was a “fundamental principle that must be demanded in the future as well.” Prime Minister Olmert did not indicate he was interested in an immediate outline for peace.

Secretary Rice has yet to develop a plan for dealing with the apparent refusal of Prime Minister Olmert to focus on developing a concrete peace agreement which will in the near future result in peace. He apparently is more interested in keeping the status quo and working for long term success. Palestinian leaders must have short term changes or forces of terrorism will grow even stronger. Is Condi Rice able to work simultaneously on such divergent agendas?