Thursday, July 13, 2006
Barak Getting Grilled
I'm listening to former Prime Minister Barak getting interviewed on Israel Radio right now. Barak, as our readers will remember, was responsible for Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon. The interviewer asked Barak why Hizbullah has been allowed to concentrate its forces so close to the border for such a long time. Barak didn't answer the question directly at first, because he obviously felt he needed to set something else straight. In the past few days, there's been a chorus of commentators and right-wing politicians who've criticized the IDF's withdrawal in 2000. Barak rightly pointed out that about 115 Israeli soldiers died in Lebanon between 1999 and 2000 - more than have been killed in the past 6 years. He also sounded a note of optimism. Barak claimed that, in the long-term, these events might trigger the high-level international intervention (French and American) that will force Lebanon to deal with Hizbullah. Barak also argued that the withdrawal gave Israel international legitimacy which will help it.