Barak Isn't Sharon or Peres, He's Dayan II

Ehud Barak did something nasty. True, when Ariel Sharon ruined Likud he did something nasty too. When Shimon Peres tore the heart out of Labor he also did something nasty. But Sharon and Peres were forgiven because they carried out a political bang meant to give Israel a new political center and new hope.

Barak did a nasty thing that will not cause a bang and will not give us hope. If he does not quickly prove otherwise, Barak will be perceived as a good-for-nothing opportunist. He will be remembered as the captain of Labor who, instead of leading his ship to safe havens, opted to crash it into the reef and abandon it.

The defense minister is no fool. Certainly he believes that what will justify his commando raid on the rear of Labor will be a major historic gain: war or peace. In the end, Barak is no Sharon and no Peres, he's a Moshe Dayan. The lone warrior, courageous and brilliant, has a warped personality and value system. He operates under the premise that the end justifies the means. He's not loyal to people and doesn't comprehend the democratic process.

As such, he believes that if he has his own Six-Day War, like Dayan, the Israelis will forgive him. He hopes that if he makes peace, like Dayan, history will forgive him. He is praying that his betrayal will be dwarfed by his historic act.

Barak must not be confused: He lacks the mandate, under the current political situation and government makeup, to start a military confrontation. The Netanyahu-Barak government's loss of legitimacy does not allow it to strike Iran. We must not go to war. On the other hand, if the Bibi-Barak alliance becomes one of peace, the picture may change. If the prime minister and defense minister surprise us during the diplomatic lull, maybe they can cause a new bang. The Barak of war cannot last. The Barak of peace may have one last chance.

The big question now is Labor. A party of Benjamin Ben-Eliezer has no chance and will disappear. But a genuine Zionist-Socialist party, represented by Shelly Yachimovich, may surprise, launch sociopolitical change and offer an alternative to the recklessness of the right and the Zionism of Kadima.