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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Blame Barak for the Shalit debacle

Amir Comrade Peretz may have been the incompetent defense minister when Gilad Shalit was kidnapped, but as Joseph Puder points out, it was Ehud Barak's big mouth and timidity that killed any chance of rescuing Shalit without paying by releasing terrorists.
The long-term prognosis for Israel’s security following this prisoner exchange is negative. Had there been greater resolve and less defeatism by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, the outcome could have been much more positive for Israel. During the Cast Lead Israeli operation against Hamas in Gaza, PM Olmert wanted Hamas to think that Israel intended to capture the Hamas leadership. For Haniyeh Jabari and the others, saving their skins was of paramount importance. Had Barak not spoken publicly of a “humanitarian corridor,” which enabled the top leadership to flee, the Hamas leaders would have been captured and exchanged for Shalit.

According to the intelligence reports at the time, Shalit was kept in the Rafah area and Olmert proposed to dispatch a full brigade to Rafah, but was opposed by Barak and others. Cast Lead was a tactical victory for Israel, but a strategic defeat. Gilad Shalit, the most valuable asset Hamas ever had, remained in their hands while Israel continued to remove red-lines until it finally surrendered this week.
I wonder how many Israelis realize just how badly Barak messed up. Even Olmert seems courageous by comparison.

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At 12:46 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Ehud Barak's new party won't win any Knesset seats. He owes his political survival to Netanyahu. As such, he is not exactly an indispensable figure.


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