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March 3, 2013 8:32 pm
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In Final AIPAC Speech as Defense Minister Barak Calls for Unilateral Steps Towards Two-State Solution

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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.”

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“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. “

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  • 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.

  • M.Otero

    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

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