Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

In Final AIPAC Speech as Defense Minister Barak Calls for Unilateral Steps Towards Two-State Solution

March 3, 2013 8:32 pm 5 comments

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Outgoing Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak capped the first day of the AIPAC Policy conference by outlining his vision for peace with the Palestinian Arabs, calling for unilateral steps if negotiations fail, but insisting “a daring peace initiative for a two-state solution is the only viable long-term solution” for Israel.

“It’s not a favor to the Palestinians,” he stressed, ” it’s the only solution.”

“They clearly bare most of the responsibility for past failures,” he added, speaking of past attempts at peace efforts. And, in a measured tone, told the AIPAC audience that “a fully fledged agreement is probably not reasonable today,” and that ” [Israel] must reach an interim agreement… if [that is] unobtainable we should consider unilateral action,” he concluded, stating that the Jewish state must drive a “wedge” between Israel and the West Bank, but retain the settlements and ensure a Jewish majority in the state of Israel.

Among Barak’s first comments were congratulations to Chuck Hagel, his current US counterpart, whom he will meet with in Washington on Tuesday. He “will no doubt serve his country in the same way in which he served both on the battlefield and in congress,” Barak said.

On Iran Barak sounded a more skeptical note, saying that negotiations should be given a chance but adding, “I do not believe it will lead to a moment of truce,” where the Ayatollahs will be willing to give up their pursuit of nuclear weapons. Therefore, he said, “All options are on the table and we mean it. Let me repeat: we mean it.”

A clearly emotional Barak finished his speech with a Jewish prayer: May the Lord bestow his people with courage and bless his people with peace. Then he was was presented with a shofar by the AIPAC committee.

Barak’s speech was preceded by that of Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) who reassured the crowd that despite the divisions in Washington, on the “issue of US support for Israel–we’ve been able to maintain an overwhelming bipartisan consensus.”

He also dismissed Hamas, saying “a terrorist group that promotes genocidal violence against Israel and Americans is never going to be reformed by dialogue or concessions. “

5 Comments

  • Jerry Hersch

    Some of the replies I read in Algemeiner give fodder to those who equate Zionism with nazism.
    Has Hitler really won ? are there are no more Jews -they have ceased to be JEWS.
    Have the thousands of years in the reality of living in both amity and tragedy among other people been to no avail.Have the thousands of years of discourse on Talmudic thinking been for nought.
    The Talmud is alive -its thoughts and opinions give direction-direction for future growth and understanding.
    Have we learned ?? Are we learning ??
    Are we adding to the understanding ?

  • Lawrence Kulak

    Rabbi Yitzhchak Kaduri predicted that Moshiach will come after Ariel Sharon passes away. This perhaps could be because Sharon stood for capitulation and lack of Emunah in Hashem by evacuating Gaza. Barak is even worse. Ehud Barak wanted to give away 99 percent of the West Bank and most of East Jerusalem to Arafat and Israel was only saved by the hand of G-d – something Barak clearly does not believe in despite his phony prayer. This man is the antithesis of a war hero – a coward who never knew what the State of Israel truly represents. There is only one solution – a one State solution, Am Yisroel, and that State will do whatever it takes to preserve itself until it elects the right G-d fearing people that will know what is required to expand the Holy Kingdom of Hashem to its rightful borders, Yamah, Vekaidma, Zaphona, V’neghba.

  • Before we do anything dangerous, we must remember that the PalArab 1948 refugees and the Mizrahi 1948 refugees are the result of ArabLeague mischief from first to last.Rather than give up any bit of Judea and Samaria, the League, UNRWA and Israel can help the Gazans and the PA to establish an unarmed state partly in the Negev and largely in Sinai. Egypt stole Jewish refugee assets in Egypt 1948-67 and could pay back now by giving some Sinai land in return. That shoreline can be developed into some of the best resorts in the Mediterranean with land on which Israel could help with the latest in business and farm technologies. The Israeli shoreline from Herzlia to Jaffa is now dazzlingly lovely, could be extended for the PalArabs toward Suez. Egypt could help govern and protect it.
    Israeli hi-rise units are going for millions. Could do so for the PalArabs, wealthy Arabs from elsewhere, and the international set as well.

    • Lawrence Kulak

      re: Otero’s idea

      It sounds good on paper, but the idea of a de-militarized state would never be accepted by the Arabs. Yitzchak Shamir aceded to giving them autonomy but they never stopped rioting even after Oslo. They do not want any independent entity or State because that would be the end of their calls for Israel’s destruction. That is why Barak is another traitor who is jeopardizing Israel by putting her furher into a compromising position. The wall was another mistake, as that enhances the opposition’s Apartheid argument. Simply manning the checkpoints and and uncovering terrorist intent should have been enough if done correctly to thwart Palestinian Arab ambitions for a State. Maximum exposure of the terrorist entity must be achieved while still defending oneself. The iron Dome shield now works politically against Israel’s interest because it nuetralizes the terrorist threat from rockets. Had their been no wall, however, and cessation of land (Gaza) the existing threat still posed by suicide bombers would have been sufficient to derail any plans for Palestinian Statehood.

    • Jerry Hersch

      So M Otero -What you envision is removing a mercantile and agrarian people into the sands of the desert-a sort of concentration camp without resources-sort of an ‘Auchwitz of the Dunes’-your final solution.
      Totally ignoring the fact that people other than Jews have inhabited the area continuously long before even the Bibical Jews arrived.
      Your solution may get some political plaudits-but as a Jew I find it morally reprehensible

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Features World Graves of Jewish Pirates in Jamaica Give Caribbean Tourists Taste of Little-Known History

    Graves of Jewish Pirates in Jamaica Give Caribbean Tourists Taste of Little-Known History

    Tour operators are calling attention to Jamaica’s little-known Jewish heritage by arranging visits to historic Jewish sites on the Caribbean island, including a cemetery where Jewish pirates are buried. A report in Travel and Leisure magazine describes the Hunts Bay Cemetery in Kingston, where there are seven tombstones engraved with Hebrew benedictions and skull and crossbones insignia. According to the report, centuries ago, Jewish pirates sailed the waters of Jamaica and settled in Port Royal. The town, once known as “the wickedest city in the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Filmmaker Eyal Resh Embraces the Challenge of Telling Israel’s Story (VIDEO)

    Filmmaker Eyal Resh Embraces the Challenge of Telling Israel’s Story (VIDEO)

    JNS.org – Telling Israel’s story. It’s the specific title of a short film that Eyal Resh created last year. It’s also the theme behind the 27-year-old Israeli filmmaker’s broader body of work. The widely viewed “Telling Israel’s Story” film—directed by Resh for a gala event hosted by the Times of Israel online news outlet—seemingly begins as a promotional tourism video, but quickly evolves to offer a multilayered perspective. “I want to tell you a story about a special place for me,” a young woman whispers […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Israel Geeks Out: Science, Art and Tech Event Embodies Jewish State’s ‘DNA’

    Israel Geeks Out: Science, Art and Tech Event Embodies Jewish State’s ‘DNA’

    JNS.org – The entrance to Jerusalem’s Sacher Park was transformed from April 25-27 by a fire-breathing robotic dragon, which flailed its arms and attempted to take flight. The robot, a signature feature at Jerusalem’s first-ever “Geek Picnic,” was one of more than 150 scientific amusements available for the public to experience. This particular dragon was designed by students from Moscow’s Art Industrial Institute in conjunction with the Flacon design factory, said Anatasia Shaminer, a student who helped facilitate the display. Children […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Opinion The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love. CreateSpace, 2015. The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love, is a very interesting novel. Equally a political and romantic thriller, at times a real page-turner, it gets you intimately involved in the dire situation in today’s Syria, as well as in the romantic entanglements of its mostly New York-based characters — whose entanglements just might determine the fate of that dire situation in Syria. Along the way it introduces a really important idea that somehow […]

    Read more →
  • Features Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    JNS.org – Aside from Israel itself, those with a vested interest in the Jewish state are accustomed to tracking developments related to Middle East players such as Iran, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. But much global attention has recently focused on the Caucasus region at the Europe-Asia border, specifically on the suddenly intensified violence between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh area of western Azerbaijan. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, while not taking place in Israel’s immediate neighborhood, does have what one scholar called […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    JNS.org – On Friday, April 22, 196 nations across the world mark Earth Day, the annual day dedicated to environmental protection that was enacted in 1970. Not to be forgotten on this day is Israel, which is known as the “start-up nation” for its disproportionate amount of technological innovation, including in the area of protecting the environment. For Earth Day 2016, JNS.org presents a sampling of the Jewish state’s internal achievements and global contributions in the environmental realm. Water conservation Israeli […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture World New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    Holocaust humor and the role that laughter played in the lives of Jews during World War II are the focus of a documentary that made its world premiere on Monday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. In The Last Laugh, first- and second-generation survivors, as well as famous Jewish and non-Jewish comedians, discuss their thoughts on when joking about the death camps is appropriate or taboo. “Nazi humor, that’s OK. Holocaust humor, no,” Jewish comedic giant, actor and filmmaker Mel Brooks says in the film. “Anything I […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    JNS.org – Sherri Mandell’s life was devastated on May 8, 2001, when her 13-year-old son Koby was murdered by terrorists on the outskirts of the Israeli Jewish community of Tekoa. Yet Mandell not only shares the story of her loss, but also celebrates the lessons she has learned from tragedy. Indeed, “celebrate” is this Israeli-American author’s word choice. Her second book, The Road to Resilience: From Chaos to Celebration (Toby Press), came out earlier this year. The lesson: in every celebration, there is […]

    Read more →