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Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Amir Oren slams Barak for cease fire remarks

Barak's briefing / Timing his political entrance
By Amir Oren Haaretz 31 December 2008
www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1051360.html

Almost every war of the last four decades has resulted in the ouster of a
defense minister. Levi Eshkol lost the defense portfolio on the eve of the
Six-Day War, Moshe Dayan after the Yom Kippur War, Ariel Sharon after the
First Lebanon War, Amir Peretz after the Second Lebanon War. Current defense
minister Ehud Barak, whose performance during the first days of Operation
Cast Lead increased his public support, spoiled his image yesterday with his
very own words. His ambiguous statements, from behind the transparent veil
of an "off-the-record conversation," once again lowered him from the rank of
commander to that of politician.

Barak, at a meeting with his aides and half a dozen guests, said things that
were meant for publication, but not for attribution. The result was
miserable, in terms of both content and form. He confused the public just
when the aims of the operation seemed crystal clear and enjoyed broad
support.

He did not explain the connection between the stable, long-term cease-fire
whose achievement - and nothing else - would justify ending the operation,
and a limited cease-fire called solely to enable negotiations on the larger
cease-fire. The opposition he aroused from his colleagues in the government
and senior defense officials managed to put the weaknesses of the group that
will decide the operation's future at the top of the agenda.

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