The former Prime Minister of Israel discusses the latest round of conflict between Israel and Hamas, as well as next steps in the region.
Ehud Barak has been a significant warrior and politician in crucial moments in the life of Israel. He was Prime Minister from 1999-2001 and attended the Camp David 2000 Summit, hosted by President Clinton, where he negotiated with PLO leader Yasir Arafat and came close but failed to reach an agreement which would have addressed consequential issues like territory and borders, Jerusalem, and right of return.
Barak was Minister of Foreign Affairs under Prime Minister Shimon Peres. He was twice Defense Minister, under Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and later under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He was Defense Minister during the controversial 2006 Lebanon War conflict with Hezbollah.
Ehud Barak shares with two others the distinction of being the most highly decorated soldier in Israel’s history and held the highest rank in the Israeli military. Throughout his military career, Barak was an architect and participant in several important hostage rescue operations, missions against suspected terrorists and also the Yom Kippur War. Since leaving government, he has been a successful in business and continues to express his ideas about topical issues. Barak has been especially critical of Prime Minister Netanyahu and his coalition partners and their attempt to change the power balance between the government and the Supreme Court.
Horrified by the Hamas invasion of Israel, called by many the most horrific attack on Jews since the holocaust, Barak has been very supportive of a strong military retaliation to eliminate Hamas.
Although not in office, Ehud Barak’s intelligence and experience make him a voice to hear as everyone tries to understand and evaluate consequential issues about the war between Israel and Hamas, and the difficult, almost impossible questions that come after the war ends, specifically who governs Gaza and how this war changes the region.
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