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Defense Min. Barak: We Didn’t Want to Conquer Gaza

Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak at a press conference at the PM's office in Jerusalem, announcing a ceasefire. November 21, 2012.

Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak at a press conference at the PM's office in Jerusalem, announcing a ceasefire. November 21, 2012.
Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/FLASH90

In an interview with Israel Radio, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that he considered conquering Gaza throughout Operation Pillar of Defense, but did not take the step because he did not want Israel to remain in the region for a long period of time.

In his first interview since Wednesday night’s ceasefire agreement, in which Barak declared that the Israeli military had accomplished its goals “in full” over the course of the eight day operation, Barak said that while Israel could have removed Hamas from power, it would have meant that Israel would be “forced to stay in for years”, and that it would have been difficult to figure out how to withdraw from Gaza again.

Barak boasted that “while our Chief of Staff will soon be talking to the press, their Chief of Staff is in the ground”, referring to Hamas military chief Ahmded Jabari, who Israel killed on the first day of Pillar of Defense.

Barak said Israel hit Hamas with one thousand times the force with which Hamas hit Israel, and praised the “powerful, effective army”.

About the Author: Malkah Fleisher is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York City. She is an editor/staff writer at JewishPress.com and co-hosts a weekly Israeli FM radio show. Malkah lives with her husband and two children on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.


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15 Responses to “Defense Min. Barak: We Didn’t Want to Conquer Gaza”

  1. Liad Bar-el says:

    Conquer Gaza by killing all terrorists, deport others who survived, and rebuild Jewish communities. Let's conquer back the land that HaShem gave us and clean up this mess around us.

  2. The State of Israel must annex the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and must expel all the Arabs from the Land of Israel, because it is written in the Torah, in Genesis 12:6-7, 15:13-21, 17:1-8, 17:19, 26:1-5, 28:10-14 and 35:9-12 and Numbers 34:13-29 and Deuteronomy 3:8, that God gave to Israel all the Land of Canaan, which includes all the Palestine, and it is written in the Torah, in Numbers 33:50-53 and Deuteronomy 1:8 and 30:5, that God commanded Israel to possess the Land of Canaan, that is the Land of Israel, and it is written in the Torah, in Numbers 33:52, that God commanded Israel to expel from the Land of Israel all the other inhabitants of that land.

  3. Charlie Hall says:

    That commandment applied to the idolatrous inhabitants of the time of the giving of the Torah, not to modern monotheists. In fact, our sages rule that monotheists have a right under the Torah to live in the Land of Israel. Finally, some of our greatest contemporary sages have ruled that Land for Peace is permissible if not mandatory if it will bring peace. Of course, Hamas isn't interested in peace, but the principal remains.

  4. Charlie Hall says:

    “while our Chief of Staff will soon be talking to the press, their Chief of Staff is in the ground”.

    Love it! Kudos to DM Barak!

  5. Rc Fowler says:

    Barak–is the enemy among many in Israel!

  6. Rc Fowler says:

    Yes–very well written!

  7. Luzers!!! Servants of the west! How many lives will be lost more and how many sufferings and traumas will come to our nation because of your stupidity?!
    Shame. You gave satisfaction to all that hate us.

  8. Anonymous says:

    We didn't want to conquer Gaza , we're in the business of conquering Migron, Amona, Gusl Katifi, etc. for our masters -Edud Barak.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Charlie Hall -No wonder why Israel is in the mess it is in with you and your sages(?)
    You decide to play God and tell us what He is saying does not count for us today and your failed sages aren't so saged with their land for jihad and rockets has yet to wake you up.
    God NEVER changes his mind like feeble,confused Israeli's who chase after their worthless idol America for peace and security.
    Exodus 23
    "You shall make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against Me. For if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you."

  10. Charlie Hall says:

    psalm118o8 "You shall make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. "

    Muslims worship the same God we do.

  11. Liad Bar-el says:

    Barak sounds like Olmert who told the Israel Policy Forum in June 2005, "We are tired of fighting; we are tired of being courageous; we are tired of winning; we are tired of defeating our enemies." Now, Barak says we don't want to conquer.
    Well, Barak, we the people do not want you in office.

  12. Anonymous says:

    BARAK NEVER WANTED TO WIN!
    The secular Ashkenazi ruling elites don't believe in winning any longer, and IN FACT, in 1995 they ERASED from the ethical code of TsaHa"L the concept of "defeat of the enemy" by the hand of extreme leftist professor Assa Kasher.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Charlie Hall, your knowledge of Torah is superficial at best. You read some translated text from the TaNa"Kh and IGNORE Torah she-be'al peh and thousands of years of explanations, starting with Rabbi Yonathan Ben Uzziel, who lived over 2300 yaers ago…
    OUR SAGES knew better and have the TRADITION FROM SINAI which was NOT given to non Jews, the existence of which is DEMONSTRATED by parts of the Bible (like: "you'll slaughter the animals as I taught you", yet there is NOWHERE in the TaNa"KH – Bible ANY indication how to, and EVERYWHERE from Afghanistan to Spain, Jews have done it the same way. Same thing for tephillin…etc.)
    IN FACT…
    on the verses:
    "You must drive out the land's inhabitants before you… Clear out the land and live in it, since it is to you that I am giving you the land to occupy…But IF YOU DO NOT drive out the land's inhabitants before you, those who remain shall be barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides, causing you trouble in the land that you settle. I WILL THEN DO TO YOU WHAT I HAD ORIGINALLY PLANNED TO DO TO THEM." Bemidbar (Numbers) 33:52-56

    The biblical commentators are explicit about the above verses:

    "And you shall drive out the inhabitants and then you shall inherit it, you will be able to exist in it. And IF YOU DO NOT YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO EXIST IN IT." Rashi

    "When you shall eliminate the inhabitants of the land, then you shall be privileged to inherit the land and pass it down to your children. But if you do not eliminate them, EVEN THOUGH YOU WILL CONQUER THE LAND, YOU WILL NOT BE PRIVILEGED TO HAND IT DOWN TO YOUR CHILDREN." Sforno

    "THE VERSE SPEAKS OF OTHERS BESIDES THE SEVEN CANANITE NATIONS … Not only will they hold that part of the land that you did not posses, but even concerning that part which you did posses and settle in, they will distress you and say: Rise and get out…" Ohr Ha'Chayim

  14. Roc Diaz says:

    I call on every jew to return to their roots and live in israel. G-d willing and only with His help will we have the resourses to maintain, guard and protect all the land that was given to us as the torah has stated.

  15. excuse me are you for real, ill-allah is not the GOD of the Bible

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