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Ehud Barak describes 'absolute victory' as empty slogan: 'We are closer to total failure'

June 15, 2024 at 10:11 am

Former Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Barak poses for a portrait in his office in Tel Aviv, Israel on 18 July, 2023 [Noam Galai/Getty Images]

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak confirmed: “Israel is at the height of a developing crisis that is far from being over. It’s the most serious and dangerous crisis in the country’s history. It began on October 7 with the worst failure in Israel’s history.”

Barak remarked in an article published by Haaretz newspaper that the current crisis: “Continued with a war that, despite the courage and sacrifice of soldiers and officers, appears to be the least successful war in its history, due to the strategic paralysis in the country’s leadership.”

“We are now facing difficult decisions between terrible alternatives with regard to continuing the fighting in the Gaza Strip, expanding the operation against Hezbollah in the north and risking a multifront war that would include Iran and its proxies. And all this is happening while in the background the judicial coup continues, with its goal of establishing a racist, ultranationalist, messianic and benighted religious dictatorship,” he explained.

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Barak stated: “The crisis requires us to mobilise everything that’s strong, good and effective within us to return to the path of growth, empowerment, enlightenment and hope that Israel trod during most of its history. That would be a real victory.”

He noted: “At this point in time, we can’t afford any more mistakes. We need to look directly and courageously at what happened to us and why, and then we need the determination to fix it quickly, despite the opposition that doing so will generate. This will require decisiveness, courage and action – from members of the opposition, from members of the governing coalition with spines and also from us, the entire citizenry.”

“This is a genuine emergency! The crux of our disaster is that in the midst of a catastrophe, Israel is being led by a government and a prime minister who are patently unfit for their offices. The people responsible for what happened on October 7 and for running the failed war in Gaza aren’t fit to lead Israel into a new era whose risks will be much greater,” he warned. “A captain who has already sunk two ships, one after the other, cannot be entrusted with the helm of the third and last ship.”

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“If this government of bereavement and failure remains in place, then within months, or even weeks, we’re liable to find ourselves deeply mired in a “unified front” – the dream of Qassem Soleimani, slain commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Quds force,” Barak said, adding: “And all this would be happening while Israel is isolated and at odds with the United States, the only country that provides us with arms and effective diplomatic backing.”

“We’re threatened with action from both international courts in The Hague and confronting a group of countries that seek to recognise a Palestinian state even without negotiations with Israel. This combination creates a clear and present danger to the country’s security and future, on top of the danger to its future as a functioning democracy,” he wrote.

Barak concluded by writing: “What is needed now is an immediate deal to bring the hostages home, even at the price of committing to end the war; calming the situation in the south; calming the north through a diplomatic agreement, even if only temporary, mediated by Washington; returning the people evacuated from southern and northern Israel to their homes; replenishing our arsenals and letting our troops recover; and restoring the economy to normal operation.”

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