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Ehud Barak On Barack Obama

Defense Minister Barak: "I refer you to another Barack who said in Sderot that he would do all possible to prevent his daughters from being rocketed"

"I believe Hamas violations of cease-fire are only tail-end of the warfare"

Barak indicates Israel will link Hamas release of captured IDF soldier Glad Shalit to reopening of Gaza border crossings

Defense Minister Ehud Barak (Photo: Amit Shabi)

Defense Minister Ehud Barak, the architect of Israel's war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, has said the IDF achieved all its operational goals. Barak saw little or no possibility that Israel could be prosecuted internationally over its conduct of the war and quoted from U.S. President Barack Obama.

Barak said "I would refer you to another Barack on his visit to Sderot who declared that if his daughters were being rocketed he would do all in his power to stop it!"

Defense Minister Ehud Barak has played down the possibility that Israel may be prosecuted internationally for its conduct of the war against Hamas. Barak said "I would refer you to another Barack on his visit to Sderot who declared that if his daughters were being rocketed he would do all in his power to stop it!" President Obama made the statement while visiting Israel during his election campaign.  Israeli jurists do not lend much legal credence to the possibility that Israel would be singled out for such treatment. They say there is no question of the Hamas provocation or of Israel's legitimate casus belli, after its civilians were rocketed for eight years by Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

Barack Obama

From the point of 'proportionality', the IDF was forced to wage a counter guerrilla war against a terror organization that used its own civilian population as human shields. Moreover, the fact that the US and Britain and other European states had been involved for years in far more devastating wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was also a factor. (An independent study by Lancet, the British medical journal in 2003 estimated that 100,000 civilians were killed in the first year of the Second Iraqi war. In this context, U.S. warplanes once bombed an apartment building in Baghdad where Saddam Hussein was thought to be hiding out. As it happened, after bulldozers sifted through the bodies in the rubble, the Iraqi dictator was not found among the victims.)

Moreover, the fact that the US and Britain and other European states had been involved for years in far more devastating wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was also a factor

Summing up the war in Gaza, Defense Minister Barak was of the opinion that Palestinian sporadic firing and attempts by Hamas to start smuggling again through underground tunnels into Gaza were only the 'tail ends of the war'. He was confident that Hamas had learned a bitter lesson and that Egypt would crack down on the arms smuggling across its border.  Barak could not recall such strong European and Egyptian support for Israel and he was certain the change in Israel's deterrent capability would become apparent and in the months ahead. In his view, it would also have any impact on Israel's other enemies such as Iran, Syria and Hezbollah.

When asked if Israel would now make the Hamas release of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit a condition for reopening the Gaza border crossings, Barak hinted that it would. As he put it: "I do not think Hamas has earned any credit with us for reopening the crossings for nothing".

When asked if Israel would now make the Hamas release of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit a condition for reopening the Gaza border crossings, Barak hinted that it would

Ehud Barak has come out of the war as the choice of most Israelis as defense minister. However, most do not pick him for prime minister in the February 10th election. But Barak said he did not relate to polls adding that they also show that 25% of the voters were still undecided. He was confident that his performance during the war would enable him to close the considerable gap. The latest poll by Yisrael Hayom on January 22nd showed Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu far ahead with 35 seats followed by Kadima's Tzipi Livni with 25 and Barak trailing far behind with only 15 seats in the 120 member Knesset. The poll indicated that Netanyahu could form a right wing coalition with a 65 seat majority without Kadima or Labor.

David Essing

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