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.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Spirituality/Tradition Removing Jesus’ Jewish Identity From Artwork

    Removing Jesus’ Jewish Identity From Artwork

    In a strong statement that challenges the historic divide between Christianity and Judaism, Pope Francis recently proclaimed, “Inside every Christian is a Jew.” But if you look at Renaissance artworks that depict Jesus, you will not find any evidence of a Jew inside the Christianized Jesus — even though the Gospels in the New Testament tell us that Jesus was Jewish to the core. Getting that point across to the public is a daunting task, as I learned in interviews I [...]

    Read more →
  • Music Personalities Recycling His Roots

    Recycling His Roots

    JNS.org – Having started his career playing on his family’s pots and pans, Jewish musician Billy Jonas has maintained this homemade performance ethic while spreading his messages of simple living and environmentalism to a shared home throughout the world. After beginning in the kitchen, Jonas soon moved to the music room, where he picked up the piano, guitar, and trombone. These days, the multi-talented multi-instrumentalist plays on with pretty much anything he can find, including cans, bottles buckets, and other recycled-object [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities Jewish Renewal Movement Founder’s Insights Form a New Guide for Senior Living

    Jewish Renewal Movement Founder’s Insights Form a New Guide for Senior Living

    JNS.org – Sara Davidson’s The December Project is a new book that should be read by all senior citizens, and by those who hope to live a long life, for it raises a question that most of us have not been taught how to answer: What should we do in that final stage of our lives? Many of us continue working past the traditional retirement age of 65, not because we need the money and not because we find the [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Jewish History Why the Holocaust Occurred in Germany, and Why So Few Resisted (REVIEW)

    Why the Holocaust Occurred in Germany, and Why So Few Resisted (REVIEW)

    It’s hard to make a new contribution to the field of Holocaust studies,  but German historian Götz Aly accomplishes just that in Why the Germans, Why the Jews? His premise is that the origins of the Holocaust were rooted in the specific anti-Semitism found in Germany in the decades and centuries before World War II. Aly (who is not Jewish) seeks to prove his theory by studying only pre-Holocaust history, and tracing how the German people’s envy and hatred of [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Looking at Anti-Israel Celebrities and Their Brands

    Looking at Anti-Israel Celebrities and Their Brands

    JNS.org – During the current conflict in Gaza a number of celebrities have voiced their opinions in support of either the Israeli or Palestinian positions. But others—be it during Operation Protective Edge or at other times—have gone further than simply supporting the Palestinians by actively supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, making false accusations about the Jewish state, ignoring Israel’s position on the conflict, or justifying the actions of the terrorist group Hamas. Many of these [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Israeli UFC Fighter Returns to Jewish State to Rejoin IDF

    Israeli UFC Fighter Returns to Jewish State to Rejoin IDF

    JNS.org – Days after winning his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight bout against Steven Siler on July 26, Israeli-born mixed martial arts competitor Noad Lahat boarded a plane for his native country, choosing to temporarily exit UFC’s octagonal cage to rejoin the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as a paratrooper for its operation against Hamas in Gaza. Except he didn’t actually consider it a choice. “When [our] home is in danger, there is no other way for us [but to serve [...]

    Read more →
  • Education Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    Why We Should Invest in Jewish Children

    JNS.org – My wife Suzy and I will never forget our wedding day. It was not just the uplifting ceremony and beautiful party that left an indelible mark. Some life-altering advice that we received from one of our guests informed and shaped our lives from that day forward. My high school teacher, Rabbi Moshe Yagid, pulled us aside just before the chuppah and challenged us to choose one mitzvah that would be the foundation of our marriage and our lives. He explained [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports LeBron James’ New Coach Shaped by Summer on Kibbutz and Jewish ‘Life Lessons’

    LeBron James’ New Coach Shaped by Summer on Kibbutz and Jewish ‘Life Lessons’

    JNS.org – Influenced by his Jewish upbringing and a summer on a kibbutz, basketball coach David Blatt is embarking on his highest-profile challenge yet: coaching LeBron James, the four-time National Basketball Association (NBA) Most Valuable Player who has made waves for returning to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. After guiding Israel’s storied Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball franchise to its 51st Israeli league championship and 6th Euroleague title this past season, Blatt landed the Cavaliers head-coaching job in June. Just weeks later, [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.