In working to guarantee his political future, Barak time and again comes up with new political tricks. The most newest of these is his preposterous plan for another “disengagement.” The man never ceases to surprise, and must be taken seriously—but the cold cynicism of his political tricks is scary. Past experience shows that he is entirely willing to abandon any semblance of military sense in order to shore up his political position.
When Barak understood that a retreat from Lebanon would get him good press during election season, he adopted the position of the “Four Mothers” and cut a hasty retreat from south Lebanon, leaving it to become Hizballahstan and cynically abandoning the South Lebanese Army and Lebanese Christians.
Exactly twelve years before his latest trick, at the beginning of the Second Intifada, Barak did all he could to prevent the IDF from entering Area A and Area B. He just kept up pro-forma firefights with the Palestinians along the boundary, allowing them to keep exporting bombing attacks from the areas they controlled.
Even when Madahat Yousef of the Border Police was bleeding to death in Joseph’s Tomb, and even when Rabbi Binyamin Herling was bleeding to death on Mount Eival, Barak refused to send forces to save them. When two IDF soldiers were captured in Ramallah and the cameras of the international media showed rioters massing to rip them to death, Barak refused to send forces and helicopters to Ramallah to save them, preferring to tend to his private political interests.
In the meantime, Barak is transferring control over Area C to the Palestinians, endangering Israeli lives as he lets Palestinians steal and build on real estate along roads and around Israeli towns.
Barak’s latest maneuver leftward was predictable from the moment he discovered he could not survive by attaching himself to the Likud. The pattern is unmistakable.
For Netanyahu, who truly believes that there must be military action against Iran, this is the time to ask whether Barak is really a partner for the job.
In my view, the answer is no. Barak cannot tell the difference between his selfish political interests and vital national interests. In his current political predicament, Ehud Barak is a danger to the State of Israel.