Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ehud Barak vs The IDF

I'll never forget how when the present and lame duck IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi was appointed he was considered the antidote for the hands off, pro-tech elitist Ehud Barak.  Pundits had blamed Barak for IDF failings and considered Gabi Ashkenazi of the Golani Brigade to be the best alternative-change possible.

I'm no expert (have no secret knowledge) in the internal workings, political-personal dynamics and manipulations in the high offices of the Israel Defense Forces, but from body language, simple newscasts, events and other kishke judging criteria it's more than obvious that Ehud Barak and Gabi Ashkenazi are polar opposites.  We're talking Antarctic iceberg versus hot tropical jungle.  I've never seen Barak in person, but I'll never forget the live coverage of him at a Labor Party convention showing obvious physical repulsion to an upset Ethiopian political hopeful.  Israeli men, especially those who've been through the army in tough front-line units, are generally big huggers, not afraid to grab a friend in trouble, whether it's physical or emotional.  I was shocked by Barak's obvious coldness.

I have seen COS Gabi Ashkenazi in person.  Our sons play on the same IFL American Football team.  When his schedule allows, he watches the game just like any other parent.  He graciously poses smiling with everyone who asks and spontaneously played with my other son's dog.  Nobody can picture Ehud Barak ever being so friendly and accessible.

I know even less about Barak's latest, very rushed-so-how-carefully-can-he-be-investigated COS nominee, Benny Ganz.  There's just my gut if Ehud Barak wants him there must be something bad feeling.  The latest news is that he's cancelling Yair Naveh's sixty day subbing and rushing in Ganz.  I'm no fan of Naveh, but in my experience, whenever something is rushed like that, it's bad news.  It takes more than a week for a proper investigation.  Of course, extending Askenazi's term another few weeks would have been the wisest, but wise and Ehud Barak aren't synonyms.

This is very worrying.  When Ehud Barak was first nominated as Chief of Staff, his supporters claimed that he was totally brilliant and liked to take apart and put together complex machinery, watches or clocks as I remember.  Now, that may be fine for a university professor, but it's not the sort of hobby needed for Chief of Staff, Minister of Defense or politician.  It's too non-people solitary.  OK, yes, he has reached the top of Israel's political and military echelons, but don't forget that he failed.  He left an army which relied on machinery rather than the old and successful "follow me" practice, and he was booted out of office as Prime Minister because of the rampant Arab terrorism which reached its peak when he was PM.

I can't figure out why Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has resurrected Barak's career and given him so much power.  This is very troubling.


Anonymous said...

i always thought ashkenazi was the opposite of his predecessor dan chalutz, but the principle is the same.
i also like ashkenazi. everything i have ever heard about him was positive.

Batya said...

Chalutz was a Barak guy. I don't know if I'd support Ashkenazi in politics from what I've heard, but he's more a mensch than Barak could ever be.

aparatchik said...

good observation!

Batya said...

thanks; I trust my kishkes more than I'd ever trust Ehud Barak.

Hadassa said...

Perhaps, so that he would look stronger, Bibi wanted someone in the government (Barak) who has even less of a backbone than he does?

Batya said...

or something more emotional relating to his brother

Netivotgirl said...

I've heard excellent things about Ashkenazy. (My friend's hubby was the 'other' Rav Peretz being considered last year to be the chief Rabbi of the IDF) Some have gone so far as to say he's been the best Ramatkal we've ever had. The man exudes humility as well as competency.

Barak is probably jealous as HE** of Ashkenazi's popularity. It's a crying shame Ashkenazy wasn't allowed a second term because of petty politics, especially now with the unrest in Egypt and other countries in our area.....not to mention the increase of rocket activity. Last week's grad landed very close to my home

Batya said...

So true. Barak is a big problem.