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March 28, 2015 / 8 Nisan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Ehud Barak’

Barak to AIPAC: Get Ready for Another ‘Disengagement’

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Israel should consider unilateral steps to separate itself from the Palestinian Authority should peace talks fail, Defense Minister Ehud Barak told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Sunday.

“We should consider unilateral steps in order to place a wedge on this extremely dangerous slippery slope to a bi-national state,” Barak said at AIPAC’s policy conference in Washington.

Such steps would include dismantling settlements beyond the separation barrier and maintaining a military presence in the Jordan Valley, along the West Bank-Jordan border, a move which PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has rejected.

Israel carried out a unilateral “disengagement”  in 2005 by expelling all Jews from their communities in Gaza and removing the IDF from the region.

Barak, who is leaving government, has until now been the chief advocate within the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for advancing talks and making concessions to the Palestinian Authority.

Barak praised Netanyahu for being a “courageous” advocate for peace, noting his settlement building-freeze in 2010, and that the failure of the talks was “mostly” the fault of the Palestinians.

Turning to Iran, Barak brought up the military option to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. “All options must be on the table – we expect all those who say it to mean it,” he said.

VP Biden Confirmed for AIPAC Speech as Iran Nukes Heat Up

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Vice President Joe Biden will speak next Monday to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, just as Iran’s nuclear program is taking center stage once again, with rumors that it is closer than ever to producing a nuclear weapon.

Israel has been insisting that Iran’s nuclear program poses an existential threat which must be stopped by any means available, including a military strike. Biden will undoubtedly express the U.S. most current policy regarding this threat.

The Obama administration has expressed its preference for a diplomatic solution, but also committed to military intervention should all the other means fail.

President Barack Obama, who addressed group last year, will visit Israel later this month and will, therefore, skip the AIPAC meeting this year.

The annual AIPAC Policy Conference is the largest gathering of the pro-Israel movement. Thousands of participants come from all 50 states to take part in “three of the most important days affecting Israel’s future,” as the organization’s website puts it.

The 2013 conference will be held March 3-5, in Washington, D.C. AIPAC has published the names of the speakers who will appear at its podium next week, with the following VIPs topping the list:

The Honorable Joe Biden

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak,

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird

House of Representatives Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA)

Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (R-TX)

House of Representatives Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD)

Senate Armed Services Committee Member John McCain (R-AZ)

Senate Armed Services Committee Member Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ)

Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Marcia Fudge (D-OH)

Ambassador Dennis Ross

Elliott Abrams

You Thought He Was Gone for Good, But Now… Here’s… Ehud!

Monday, December 31st, 2012

This is one of those political scoops that would make anyone on the right within Likud-Beiteinu cringe, grimace, sigh—even a few molars would probably be gnashed. Which is why a senior Likud minister (they never just come out and identify themselves) told reporter Zeev Kam of Maariv that Prime Minister Netanyahu is scheming to keep Defense Minister Ehud Barak in his post, despite the fact that Barak has already announced his resignation from political life (leaving his sliver-party’s couple of MKs hanging in the wind).

“Have you noticed how Barak has gone underground recently, to convey to Likud voters that he is out of the game?” the senior Likudnik told Maariv. Well, Barak’s “going underground” has been accompanied by several uncharacteristic moves on the part of the outgoing Defense Minister.

There were the announcements of construction approvals in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria, which Barak did not object to publicly and in some of the cases actually gave his own approval to continued construction.

“All of a sudden, after so many years of resistance, he (Barak) also gives an order to upgrade Ariel College to a university,” the anonymous cabinet minister added. “These things are never a coincidence. It’s a systematic ploy to prepare the Likud supporters for the possibility of getting Barak for a second term.”

Other Likud sources have also estimated on Sunday that the chances have increased that after the elections Netanyahu will turn to Barak and ask him to stay in Defense – a move that could shake up the entire party.

Barak is one of the least popular figures among Likud’s Knesset list and its government ministers. He is loathed not by the pro-settler MKs but also by senior ministers such as former IDF chief of staff Moshe Ya’alon, who has been eyeing Defense for some time now.

Another senior source inside Likud told Maariv: “We are on a downslide in the polls, losing out to HaBayit HaYehudi, and the talk in recent days inside the party that Barak will be defense minister in the next government, too, could bring us down another notch.”

The same source added that “should Likud voters learn that Barak is the next defense minister, and the chances for that have increased recently, our situation will be very bad. We’ll be ushering in Naftali Bennett with 20 seats.”

On the other hand, other Likud sources have pointed out that at least the political process of appointing Barak would be difficult and complicated. “The number of seats won by Likud-Beiteinu is expected to be smaller, compared to the previous election, but the number of MKs who see themselves as candidates to serve as ministers is actually larger,” those other sources told Maariv. “Which means it would be next to impossible politically to launch such a move and get it passed through the party apparatus.”

The Likud-Beiteinu campaign spokesperson’s office, as well as Minister Moshe Yaalon’s office have denied the rumors, and stated that they did not engage in speculations. Barak’s office said they had no comment.

To Everyone’s Surprise, Barak Turns Ariel College Into a University

Monday, December 24th, 2012

Right now, a lot of eyebrows are probably being raised as high as the champagne glasses, after Defense Minister Ehud Barak granted Ariel College his stamp of approval. This was the last step needed for Ariel College to receive official recognition and accreditation as a university.

Barak instructed Major General Nitzan Alon to recognize the school, located in the city of Ariel in the Shomron, as a university, after refusing to do so since the paper crossed his desk in September.

Barak will be ending this phase of his political career following his decision to not run in the upcoming elections.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein also recommended that the approval be granted.

Last month MK Tzipi Hotoveli told JewishPress.com that PM Netanyahu would ensure that the university was approved before the upcoming elections. Turns out she was right.

But there are still roadblocks ahead as the Council of Presidents of Israeli Universities, who oppose the accreditation on political grounds, plan to take the decision to the High Court of Justice, where they believe the decision will be overturned.

Another Reason Why Barak’s Resignation Spells Relief for Judea and Samaria

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Here’s an opinion in the New Republic on Ehud Barak’s departure from the defense ministry which…

will have far-reaching implications for Israeli policy. That’s because the man most likely to replace Barak, Strategic Affairs Minister and Vice Prime Minister Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon, disagrees with him on two of Israel’s most contentious issues: Iran’s nuclear program and West Bank settlements…

Though Ya’alon supported the 1993 Oslo Accords, in recent years he has shifted right on the Palestinian issue. At a 2009 conference, he called the group Peace Now a “virus” and said—regarding U.S. pressure over settlements—that he was “not afraid of the Americans.” “From my perspective,” he was quoted as saying, “Jews can and need to live in all of the Land of Israel for all eternity.”  Ya’alon elaborated on his thoughts in the Ha’aretz interview with Ari Shavit:

Ya’alon: As long as the other side is not ready to recognize our right to exist as the nation-state of the Jewish people, I am not ready to forgo a millimeter. I am not even willing to talk about territory. After land-for-peace became land-for-terror and land-for-rockets, I am no longer willing to bury my head in the sand. In the reality of the Middle East what is needed is stability above all. Stability is achieved not by means of imaginary agreements on the White House lawn but by means of defense, by means of a thick stick and a carrot.

Visit My Right Word.

DM Barak: Unilateral Withdrawal Will Lead to Israeli Sovereignty in Judea and Samaria

Monday, September 24th, 2012

In excerpts of an interview published by Yisrael HaYom newspaper, Defense Minister Ehud Barak proposed a unilateral withdrawal from most of Judea and Samaria, requiring tens of thousands of Jews to leave their homes or remain under the sovereignty of the Palestinian Authority.

Under Barak’s plan, major Jewish population centers – according to him, 90% of the Jews of Judea and Samaria – would remain under Israeli control.  Israel would also maintain a military presence in the Jordan Valley and on hilltops of Samaria overlooking and in proximity to places of import such as Ben Gurion International Airport.

Barak’s full policy discussion will be published on Tuesday, before the Yom Kippur holiday.

Barak’s plan would be similar to the one carried out in 2005 in the Jewish communities of Gaza known as Gush Katif, and would include payments to families forcibly evicted from their homes.  Barak likely did not envisage a similar outcome to that of the Gaza expulsion, which was the creation of a Hamas-run state frequently targeting Israeli civilian areas in rocket attacks.

According to the interview, in which Barak called PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas a “real partner” for negotiations, he is not sure “if this will succeed”.  Yet he claimed this is the only way to legitimately lay sovereign claim to Jewish communities in the biblical heartland.

“ It would be a great achievement if we succeed to bring them into the permanent borders of Israel” after 45 years of Israeli settlement in Judea and Samaria, he said.

Defense Minister Barak Meets with U.S. Senators, Discusses Syria and Iran

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with a delegation of U.S. senators in Tel Aviv on Monday, and reiterated his government’s conviction that the recent nuclear talks in Baghdad were yet another example of Iran “dragging its feet while attempting to deceive the world.”

Barak was referring to the fruitless negotiations that took place last week, where the West saw its glimmer of hope dashed by Iran’s rejection of the P5+ 1’s proposal (the U.S., the U.K., France, Russia, China, Germany) to rein in Iran’s nuclear program. He also took the opportunity to emphasize that “All options remain firmly on the table.”

Barak also discussed the massacre perpetrated by the Assad regime in Houla on Friday. “Israel supports the UN Security Council’s condemnation of the atrocities in Syria.  The pictures of the children’s mutilated bodies are both shocking and disturbing.  We call upon the nations of the world to unite and act immediately to stop the ongoing massacre of innocents.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/middle-east/defense-minister-barak-meets-with-u-s-senators-discusses-syria-and-iran/2012/05/28/

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