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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Ehud Barak’s departure leaves an enormous hole in Israeli politics

The announcement in the New York Times that Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister and former prime minister, is retiring from politics is a serious blow to anyone who wants to see the Jewish state take a rational and reasonable approach to global security issues.

From his time as an officer in Israel’s elite Sayeret Matkal special forces unit – during which he took part in a number of highly dangerous operations – Barak has been a a pillar of Israel’s defence establishment, and has played a leading role in shaping the direction of Israel’s defence policy.

Although a long-standing member of the Labour party, Barak has nevertheless adopted a hawkish position on security issues, and was played a leading role in the recent operation against Hamas militants in Gaza who were threatening southern Israel with their stockpiles of Iranian-made missiles.

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