In 2010, on this day the Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Barak (pictured) issued orders to proceed with Operation Final Victory at all costs. Old Testament Times
Just a decade before and during his first term of office as Prime Minister, Barak pursued a final settlement on the basis of the Oslo Agreement Click to watch the documentary Why Barak's Offer was Completely Unacceptable.
Prior to his political career Barak served as an officer in the IDF and following a highly decorated career he was appointed the 14th Ramatkal (Head of General Staff) in 1995. Barak is also an expert in krav maga, the official IDF martial art.
Ehud Brog as he was known joined the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in 1959. At that time he decided to change his name to 'Barak', which means 'lightning' or 'shine' in Hebrew. He served in the IDF for 35 years, rising to the position of Chief of the General Staff and the rank of Rav Aluf, the highest in the Israeli military. During the Yom Kippur War, Barak commanded an improvised regiment of tanks which among other things, helped rescue paratrooper battalion 890 commanded by Yitzhak Mordechai who were suffering heavy losses in the Battle of the Chinese Farm.
During his service as a commando in the elite Sayeret Matkal, Barak led several highly acclaimed operations, such as: 'Operation Isotope', the rescue mission to free the hostages onboard Sabena Flight 572 at Lod Airport in 1972; the 1973 covert mission Operation Spring of Youth in Beirut, in which he was disguised as a woman in order to assassinate members of the Palestine Liberation Organization; Barak was also a key architect of the June 1976 Operation Entebbe, another rescue mission to free the hostages of the Air France aircraft hijacked by terrorists and forced to land at the Entebbe Airport in Uganda. These highly acclaimed operations, along with Operation Bayonet led to the dismantling of Palestinian terrorist cell Black September and a decline in international terrorism for over 20 years. It has been alluded that Barak also masterminded the Tunis Raid on April 16, 1988, in which PLO leader Abu Jihad was assassinated.
Later he served as head of Aman, the Military Intelligence Directorate (1983-1985), head of Central Command (1986 - 1987) and Deputy Chief of the General Staff (1987-1991). He served Chief of the General Staff between April 1, 1991 and January 1, 1995. During this period he implemented the first Oslo Accords and participated in the negotiations towards the Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace.
Elected Prime Minister of Israel on 17 May 1999, Barak gave a campaign promise to end Israel's 22-year long occupation of Southern Lebanon within a year. On May 24th, 2000 Israel withdrew from Southern Lebanon. On October the 7th, 2000, three Israeli soldiers were captured by Hezbollah and then subsequently killed. The bodies of these soldiers, along with the living Elhanan Tenenbaum, were eventually exchanged for Lebanese captives in 2004. Barak inaugurated peace negotiations with the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, which ultimately proved fruitless. Barak also took part in the Camp David 2000 Summit which was meant to finally resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but failed. Barak, Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia, and US president Bill Clinton placed the blame on Yasser Arafat. Barak claimed he exposed 'Arafat's true intentions'. Following the failure at Camp David, the Palestinian al-Aqsa Intifada erupted. Barak also allowed Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami to attend the Taba Summit with the leadership of the Palestinian Authority, after his government had fallen.
Immediately after Yasser Arafat rejected the settlement, hardliners seized control of the Israeli Government and continued to escalate events inside a vicious, inescapable circle of violence that gripped the region. A former IDF Chief of Staff, Barak had been drawn into this cold logic against his better judgment, serving as Defense Minister from 2006-2009. By remaining inside the Cabinet, he had perhaps hoped to reign in the extreme elements who were now driving events mercilessly along towards the destruction of the Palestinian National Authority.
In a press conference later that day, the Prime Minister justified the destruction by quoting quoting scripture from both the Talmud and the Koran. Barak stated that a hostile Palestinian population was no longer viable in the State of Israel because just like Jonah
the whale did swallow him, and he had done acts worthy of blame (Sura 37:142) .