Ehud Barak

Picture of Ehud Barak

Date of Birth: 02/12/1942

Age: 74

Place of birth: Kibbutz Mishmar Hasharon

Citizenship: Israel


Early elections to the Knesset (Parliament) of the 15th convocation and the direct election of the Prime Minister, which took place in Israel, 17 May 1999, brought victory Ehud Barak - the chairman of the Party of Labor ( "Labor") and leader of the movement "Yisrael Echad" ( " One Israel "). And the victory that many observers have called "more than convincing."

For Barack voted (and perhaps the heart), 56 percent of voters. His rival - Prime Minister (now former) Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also the leader of the right-wing party "Likud", received 44 percent.

The political career of the new head of government was immediate and corresponds exactly to his name. "Barack" in Hebrew means "lightning". The real name of the prime minister - Brog. Her bear his elderly parents - the father of Israel, born in Lithuania Panevezys, and then turned in Melitopol, and his mother, Esther, who was born in Warsaw in the family arrived from Smolensk, and three brothers.

Only Ehud, named after the biblical hero Ben Hera, changed his name. He explains this by saying that in the Army it "all the time and maimed mangle calling the Broch, then Brooke and even Bervig".

Unfortunately, most of the biography of Barack, as before, it is impossible to discern for stamped "Top Secret". But even the visible part of this, we must recognize the amazing life and affects a matter of respect.


Ehud Barak was born in 1942 in Kibbutz Mishmar Hasharon. Vivid childhood memory - the British are looking at Kibbutz weapons cache. Ehud brings them to the pomegranate tree and says: "That`s a grenade."

I must say that from childhood he delivered nothing but trouble to parents. Teachers in one voice talking about his pathological laziness, the incredible stubbornness, tendency to conflict. The case ended up at the end of 11th grade, they told him: "You are transferred to the 12 th grade, but that the school will no longer appear." So on the matriculation exams Barak had to take later externally.

Then, when he was an officer in the IDF (Israel Defense Forces), he brilliantly finished two faculties - Mathematics and Physics at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and computer engineering from Stanford University in the US. In the first, he will receive a bachelor`s degree, in the second - a master. But all this will happen much later, in the 70s ...

And in 1961, 18-year-old Barak begin their service in the IDF. At the cost of tremendous efforts to achieve the direction of "Sayeret Matkal" - a special unit to combat terrorism, which the men had almost daily face death. "Sayeret Matkal" was created in early 1958 and is a small group that is easily placed in the van.

According to Barak, his service in this division right from the start is going well. Quite quickly it became a favorite of the founder and commander of the Special Forces Group Arnau Abraham. He is constantly inventing various "military action", which literally counted based on the individual qualities of Barack. He still remembers the night raids in Arab villages. It was there, where any stranger immediately catches the eye, the commandos were to develop the art of camouflage, the ability to blend in with the local population without causing unnecessary questions.

Serious physical training, endless exercises and tactical exercises gradually became a part of his consciousness. Compared with experienced commando, he was, in fact, still a young man. And the happier it was aware that it will eventually catch up with the veterans, turned into a mature fighter.

Important role in strengthening the authority of Barak played its unique ability to navigate in unfamiliar terrain. No one knew how to quickly and accurately determine the shortest path to the goal, as he did. Every day and time spent in the Special Forces, urged Barak that the right choice is made.

By the way, Barack to this day remains the first and the last soldier in the history of the Israeli special forces, and graduated from a special school scouts and infantry officers course. Before and after the intelligence school graduates are invariably directed to the operations department courses at the General Staff of the IDF, which were an order of magnitude shorter and easier. Barak managed to persuade their superiors, and he was allowed to undergo infantry officers. By the time he finally decided to connect his life with the army. Another way he has for himself is not represented.

In the middle of 1962 following the successful completion of officer courses Barak returned to the Special Forces, where he was offered to take command of the operational-intelligence unit. He had a great opportunity to prove himself in earnest. And he used this opportunity in full ...

When the deadline expired more service in the army, Barak signed a contract to re-enlist. After that, he was appointed deputy commander of the Special Operations Unit. Due to the fact that he has agreed to remain a professional soldier, he received from his command as a reward for excellent service an unusual gift - a direction to France on a special commando courses.

On the first day, "Six Day War", which began on June 5, 1967, a special unit was attached to Barak at the disposal of the division, which was stationed in the northern part of the Sinai and the Gaza Strip. Curiously, ultra-fast pace of "Six Day War" played with Israeli commandos cruel joke. Whatever the job or received commandos, they do not even have time to gather in the street. They were ahead of any Air Force or tank units. Wink itself was extremely difficult in such an environment.

On the fifth day of the war Barak band has been relocated to the Golan Heights, which has made a daring raid into Syria. After successful completion of the operation, during which the base was captured by the enemy, Barak came across a brand new "Mercedes", serves one of the Syrian general. Without hesitation, he decided to take the car as a trophy. Then he came down on it with the Syrian hill and parked the car near the house of his comrade Menachem diglyme. That is to say, in the form of a gift. Early in the morning the neighbors found a "Mercedes" with Arabic numbers and terribly frightened, called the police.

Kak-to time Deagle suggested Barack buy a plot of land in the eastern part of Jerusalem. Imagine his surprise when Barack flatly refused.

-Why? - I asked diglyme. - After all, you can buy land for pennies.

, Because this land is not ours, - said Barack and explained-She - Arabic: We annexed it: The day will come when it will have to return. Is it worth it to throw money down the drain?

Later, during one of his trips to the occupied territories, Barak and diglyme were on a high hill. From there, a breathtaking panorama of East Jerusalem and part of the Judean Desert.

Look, what a beauty! - Said Deagle.

In response to Barak shrugged his shoulders and said:

We`re currently in the euphoria: You know, this inner state of transition from a native of a small country to host large. I am convinced that these territories will be only a temporary guarantee. Arabs need time to understand that we are not animals, we are not enemies to them. We just want to, as they live in their own land. When they realize that, when they want to get close to us in the present, all this will have to return. Sinai, Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights ...

The Yom Kippur War (Yom Kippur), which began on October 6, 1973, Barak found at Stanford University. Two hours after the start, he was sitting in a chair aircraft bound for Israel. A few hours later, he assumed command of the armored regiment.

In 1981, Barack became the youngest general of the IDF.

-They Say that we were too early to assign you the title - a joke then Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin. - Say, you`re still a little gunpowder smelled ...

Barak said:

Napoleon once said that if he gave a marshal`s baton, depending on who has how much gunpowder smelled, his marshals would be extremely donkeys.

Perhaps it was at that time and established the existence of special relations between Barak and Rabin, which persisted until the latter`s death.

In 1982, Barak led the army intelligence service "Aman", and in 1986 he was appointed commander of the Central Command. In 1987 he became deputy chief of staff.

1st April 1991, Major General Barak was appointed as the 14th Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces. Soon his shoulder straps decorated Lieutenant General - the highest rank in the IDF.

In the days when he came into the office, Israeli newspapers reported that Barak with his two higher technical education is the "secret weapon" of Israel, that he is the person who is the best is to prepare the army for the electronic wars of the XXI century. In fact, Barak had to solve other problems - to order the closure of the Gaza Strip and "controlled" areas, throwing army to suppress mass protests of the Palestinians, to sit with them at the negotiating table, to fly in the "security zone" in southern Lebanon.

In Israel, Barak called "soldier`s number one." And no wonder: it has the largest number of awards among Israelis still alive - five insignia on the battlefield. In our terminology - five times "Hero of Israel." And all five times he has been awarded this honor during the service in the Special Forces. His first award Barak received in 1963 for the implementation of a daring operation on the territory of Syria. A few people knew about the incredibly complicated tasks that were assigned to Barak in the top leadership of the IDF. In 1971, he commanded the operation, developed by the Israeli intelligence service "Mossad", during which the right of the General Staff of the Syrian army were kidnapped five officers in exchange for Israeli pilots, who were captured by the Syrians. It was he who in 1972 conducted a lightning (just 90 seconds) operation to free hostages held by terrorists on the plane of the Belgian airline "Sabena". It was he who in April of the following year led the operation "Spring of Youth" for the elimination of Palestinian leaders, who lived in the Lebanese capital. Dressed in women`s clothing (say, he looked absolutely charming blonde), Barak broke into the house and, along with other commandos shot and killed three prominent figures of the PLO. They were responsible for the murder in September 1972 of the Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. He also took part in many other covert operations, time for a story which has not yet come ...

On the last day of his service in spetsnaz Barak received the fifth sign of the differences, which, incidentally, was very surprised. Just at that time, any operations under his command was carried out. However, the Chief of Staff David Elazar, presenting the award, said that it seems to be summed up all the years and all the operations that special forces conducted under the direct command of Barak.

Resigns from his post as chief of staff, he said:

-APM Was an adventure for me, an adventure. I was terribly curious. Curiosity - the main motive of my life.

In the suit POLICY

At the beginning of 1995 in Kibbutz Ogen Lt. Gen. Ehud Barak, serial number 448200, in the circle of close friends bid farewell to the army, ending a brilliant career from private to chief of staff. The evening was attended by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, senior politicians and ministers, senior officers and prominent social and religious leaders, well-known actors, musicians.

Each of them to some extent reminiscent of Barack lived through and experienced. Called in his memory drenched in blood comrades and enemies of the field of battle, risky, stored in deep secret special forces operations, short-lived hours of simple human communication and recreation, there is no need, out of habit, to grope at a canvas holster belt.

The special peculiarity of the evening was the fact that all those present knew: Barack farewell to the army did not mean the completion of a brilliant career. The man passed all conceivable test, used to fall asleep to the roar of cannon fire and wake up in the team "Emergency!", An army general Barak was determined to become a general in politics.

It was a balanced, organic solution. Throughout his life, he walked straight ahead, assessing each step, patiently building itself and its future. Barack always know what will happen next, what it is and which way to go to the goal.

Barak has always been a favorite of Yitzhak Rabin. On that memorable evening when the stage went up the prime minister, everyone knew that his political career will be connected with the "Labor" Party, and Rabin.

, You always knew how to think, and you have the courage to take responsible decisions, - said the head of government, referring to his favorite. - I am the first military general in Israel, who became prime minister. So, who knows, I wish you success, Ehud!

The response has always reserved to Barak as a promising speech of the Prime Minister was only a fleeting smile. He always knew how to hide himself in grief and joy ...

Then he got up on stage, General Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, Barak`s deputy in the General Staff, who replaced him in this post then (and now one of the leaders of the centrist party "Merkaz" - rival "Labor" in the last election).

-Ehud Continues his career like a torpedo with a warhead smart - Lipkin-Shahak said. - She rushes to the goal of a completely silent, but its range is very wide. Let no one deceive himself the one who thinks that the torpedo name Barak someone running. He does not need a tip. He chooses a goal himself at the last minute can change course. But what we can be sure of is that Barak will necessarily reach the goal sought by.

Lipkin-Shahak Supervisory gave the most accurate description of the personality of Barack - "clever torpedo". With perfectly verified rate and coefficient of efficiency.

In recent months, the host Chief of Staff Barak sat on a rigid diet and lose a few kilos, gained "presentation". He knew that his political career was assured. Any party would be happy to have him in their ranks. And he was not wrong. Leaders of the "Labor" is not only persuaded Barak to join them, but she pushed it to the forefront. Party, capitulated (it is the opinion of opponents) to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who went on territorial concessions, and was unable to protect the vital interests of the country, was extremely necessary fanned fighting glory General. To correct the image.

This, in fact, explains the unprecedented rapid political career of Barack. However, many in Israel regretted then that his "fighting falcon, has brought to the company plucked pigeons and noisy crows". However, in July 1995, retired general joined the party of "Labor" and took in the study of Yitzhak Rabin as Minister of Internal Affairs. In November of the same year after the assassination of Prime Minister Shimon Peres he was in the government portfolio of Foreign Affairs. After the 1996 elections - the Knesset of the 14th convocation.

In June 1997, Barak was elected chairman of the "Labor". Most members of the party supported him in the belief that only he can defeat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the upcoming elections. It is fair to say that after his election, he could not for a long time to catch on. He failed to develop a coherent alternative political course Netanyahu. His speech came down to the constant repetition of the same slogans, consisting of arranged in a different order of the words "peace", "security", "disengagement". Barak repeated them, forgetting to explain to the public how it intends to defend the interests of Israel in the negotiations with Arafat. He demanded the acceleration of promoting "peace process", but could not say what the requirements ready to sacrifice.

Moreover, becoming chairman of the "Labor", Barak compromised scandalous statements and inability to repel the attacks of journalists. If the Israeli media referred to him as well as to Netanyahu, the leader of "Labor Party" would have a very hard time. But luckily for him, Israeli media merciful to the "left".

As a result, in the absence of a clear political platform and inability to present a balanced thoughts to reporters, his newfound popularity Barak was obliged only errors Netanyahu. Opposition leader perceived supporters left camps as an alternative to the person of the Prime Minister, not his policies.

Soon, however, Barak realized that since he headed the "Labor", lost two important years. And the situation is even more acute, because it is difficult to carry out reforms when it was a question of early elections. To win, you need to change the priorities of the party.

He also realized that in order to make people want to join it, they must be something superior. "If you imagine an unpopular and budding party - reasoned Barak - it needs to be updated. Otherwise, why the one who, according to opinion polls, ahead of you, unite with you."

Realizing all this, the leader of "Labor" in late 1998, announced the creation of a new political movement "Yisrael Echad" ( "One Israel"). Its program offered a change of party leadership, the formation of political clubs instead of the existing local offices and a reorientation of public questions on the nature of such areas as school and higher education, housing, economy, unemployment, crime, etc. According to Barak, the desire to solve these problems should be the ideology of the "One Israel". In other words, it is quite clearly removed himself from the image of the left associate for the Labour Party and former Prime Minister Shimon Peres, who lost the 1996 election. He turned towards the right and asked the voters moderate wing with a focus on the economy and a solid approach to security.

It should be added that the decision to organize a new movement Barak stood realization that the notion of "Labor Party" is already out of date, that it is practically no longer exists. But the "One Israel" - it is only a slogan, but not a change of name of the party.

Realizing the complexity of the situation and not wishing to lose the election, Barak sought the help of foreign experts. It will be recalled that at the time Netanyahu had poured buckets of dirt just for the fact that he had hired an American adviser for the campaign.

Barak invited not one, but three, at one time led the White House, Bill Clinton. As he was advised of these consultants? To find out it was not difficult. The political lexicon of the candidate for prime minister was enriched by the words "poverty", "unemployment", "education" and the slogan "By voting for Netanyahu, you vote for an increase in unemployment and poverty."

Americans advised Barak to focus on the economy, avoiding the uncomfortable political topics left. But is not the problem. After 1967, the main issue was the Arab-Israeli conflict on the agenda. Therefore, focusing on the economy, Barak tried to evade answering questions relating to international relations and defense. And it is in these vital matters are taken vital decisions that affect the future of the Jewish state.

However, no matter what slogans are not used in the election campaign, Barack, he, according to observers, has become unrecognizable. It was quite difficult to make the transition from war hero to political leaders. But during the 5-month election marathon, he showed his fighting qualities, and this transformation he failed. At the end of the campaign the Israelis saw another Barak, rather than at the beginning. He even became known as the "new voice in Israeli society."

Moreover, according to opinion polls, Barak ahead of not only his main rival - Benjamin Netanyahu, but other contenders for the premiership. But does this mean that he overcame all difficulties and confidently embarked on the path leading to the coveted chair? Of course not: But Barak - won ...

In his first speech, referring to the people, he said:

Israel -Grazhdane! Today, you have chosen hope over fear, or fear. Since today is not a choice - peace or security. There is only one choice - the world plus security.

Barak pledged to finally negotiate a peace with the Palestinians. And immediately warned of harsh negotiations, including essential elements such as the impossibility of returning to the 1967 borders, the indivisibility of Jerusalem, and the preservation of most of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The new prime minister also promised within a year the withdrawal of Israeli troops from southern Lebanon in the framework of the new peace talks with Syria. He said that Israel is ready to make territorial concessions in the Golan Heights as a condition for a peace treaty with Damascus.

In the Arab world the victory of Barak provoked a sigh of relief. After Netanyahu represented the most radical and extremist layers of Israeli society. The reaction of the West - extremely positive.

Formed Barack new (18th in a row), the government was sworn in the 6th July 1999. The very next day the Israelis dubbed it "the strangest government in Israel`s history." One of the strange things is that it is - the most unprofessional office. Suffice it to say that the Minister of Justice has no legal education, and transport minister in the previous government led by the defense establishment. On the other ministers this is not the best ...

Barak managed to place his ministers so that they are less suited to their positions. According to experts, this is not a coincidence, but a clever move. His goal - to neutralize potential opposition within the government. The new prime minister wanted to create a team that no one in it "was not put out" and not obscure the figure head of the government. In the most important areas of public life, he has placed "their" people loyal to him personally. With Minister Barak talks, but is not advised, because "in the councils do not need." No one in the government knows the true goals of the Prime Minister or one problem.


Barack Knowledgeable people say that it is - highly complex personality. His analytical mind immediately prepares the information coming to it on several channels. Analyzing any problem, he not only comes to the heart, but also offers several options for possible solutions.

In life, he appreciates the dynamics the most. He does not tolerate well-established concepts, frozen representations of mechanical simplicity. After all, life does not fit into the formula, any concept. Therefore, many did not know how he left, "Likud" and the right "Labor".

Co-workers, however, indicate that Barak - personality in many ways contradictory, are not amenable to detailed analysis at a glance. On the one hand, it is - a typical "sixties", very sociable, convivial, a lover of good-natured jokes and night get-togethers with friends around the fire ... In his youth, even worked in a private detective agency. He has golden hands, he could easily make out the car engine, or rapidly pluck a chicken. But his real hobby - it`s demolition and the subsequent assembly of watches.

On the other hand, Barak is not so simple and not as accessible as it would like to see his surroundings. He can spend the night on the flight over the decision of any analytical task. She loves classical music, plays the piano beautifully. I bow before Leo Tolstoy and Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

-Generally Russian culture had a special significance in my life - admitted in an interview with Barack. - Russian language sounds I heard at home in early childhood. I knew the letters of the Latin language and the Cyrillic alphabet. I remember that in our house there were magazines "Spark" and "Crocodile".

When Barack was older, his father forced him to read the classics translated into Hebrew by Gogol, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy. A mother slipped him a "Pan Tadeusz" by Adam Mickiewicz. But then he preferred to prose poetry. He was in love with Anna Akhmatova.

According to the same fellow, the man - a clot of contradictions in which bizarrely mixed stern military training and the spirit of high-tech. A certain sentimentality and extraordinary rigidity in matters of principle. Adventurism inherent in quite a young man, and pragmatism inherent in the people mature.

In Barack constantly not only live, but also inexplicably get on serious contradictions between the past and the future. This internal struggle sometimes leads to a complete denial of the present. One could say that Barak belongs to the category of people who themselves pose a problem, and they resolve themselves. However, it should be noted that by creating these problems, at the same time he is able to draw the right conclusions, never to return to them.

Succeeding in 1995, in the tunic jacket, the former chief of staff, is still not used to wearing civilian clothes. Although it has had time to visit as Minister of the Interior and then of Foreign Affairs. According to observations of Israeli journalists, Barak out of habit now and then puts his hands over the waistband of his trousers, as if he was still girded army belt. Generalskie note in his voice did not slip, but the exact wording and chopped hard, peremptory tone left no doubt that the person in front of you hardened military and army training.

Whatever Barak became, if not a military career? It is possible that all his inclinations may remain unfulfilled. Army helped him to avoid it. He gave much of the army. But the army gave him no less. For Barak - a man two poles: on one - a hard, sharp mind, on the other - subtle, delicate sensitivity. It took the army hardening, to achieve the interaction of these qualities in the correct proportions.

In the army itself to Barack treated differently. Some argue that it was he who was responsible for its demoralization, for those cases of bullying, which recently appear more often, with the weakening of its power finally. According to them, Barack became the first chief of staff, who brought their political sympathies and antipathies in the army, dismissing those officers who held overtly right-wing views.

-From Combat reconnaissance Barak turned into an ordinary staff rat siphoned scores with their opponents and picks the dirty intrigues - these people say.

But there are other opinions. Many believe that Barak never fell to the petty details of accounts, but demanded severe punishment of those on whose fault there was an emergency. It does not recognize any authority when it comes to the security of the state. In this matter he did not renounce anything.

Barack is married and has three daughters. The eldest, Michael, - the lawyer. Average, Yael, is studying at the university. Younger, Anat, is engaged in the gymnasium. Nava`s wife, a teacher by profession, - the daughter of Shlomo and Rachel Cohen, ancestral roots in Spanish Morocco, in Corsica and in Toledo.

They met in 1968, when we were sitting next to the university library. Ehud listened through headphones to classical music, and Nava, a student at the Department of English, reading Shakespeare. Without saying a word, he pushed the girl with paper programs of cinemas, where it circled the name of one of the films, and was a question mark. Nava delivered a number of exclamation ...

They married a year later. Many years later, in an interview to the reporter, Nava confessed:

-When You live close to Ehud, you feel a sense of insecurity. He could disappear at any moment. When we got married, he was the captain. While getting to the Chief of the General Staff, I realized what it means if the power is running out ...

Friends of the family Barak said that Nava tried to influence her husband. But in the end, I realized that it was impossible and gave up.

As of 1st January 1995 ended tenure of Barack as chief of the general staff, Nava thought that stress, do not leave it for almost thirty years, nakonets-to ended. She wanted to see her husband a successful businessman, earning a lot of money and conducting all evening at home. But Barak went into politics ...

Nava worked in school and did not intend to give up their profession. Yet she often had to miss lessons: the husband went abroad, and she had to accompany him, emerged kakie-to complexity, and she had to solve them.

Only after Barak became Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nava knew I had to make a choice and took the "indefinite leave". Friends of the family say that Barak is benefited.

At full strength the family gathers every Friday. Friday meal for Nawa, able and loving to cook, - a holy cause.

* * *

Barack three idol - Ben-Gurion, de Gaulle and Churchill. This suggests that in the future the government will not be a collective leadership.