Ehud Barak’s Top 12 Zingers and Putdowns of Netanyahu and Co.

No. 5: 'The prime minister’s Hitlerization of the transient regional threats, dangerous as they may be, is Holocaust degradation at its worst.'

Ehud Barak speaking at the Herzlia Conference, June 16, 2016.
Ofer Vaknin

1. “Who, in the name of God, authorized Netanyahu and his government to take us to the edge of the abyss with their continuous, deceptive and calming murmur that supposedly broadcasts the complete opposite?”

2. “For over a year we have been led by a prime minister and a government who are weak, feeble and clamorous, deceitful and extreme, who have failed again and again.”

3. “Obtuse extremism, hubris and blindness have taken control of the prime minister and the government of Israel, in the name of an ostensibly hidden agenda with a touch of messianism. It is dragging us all into an moral and functional abyss, the bottom of which cannot be fathomed.”

4. “There’s been a hostile takeover. A fanatic core of extreme ideology has taken control of the Likud and purged the party leadership of anyone who preferred democratic values over populism or momentary gain. Netanyahu bears responsibility for the actions of his ‘hijacked’ government and its failures, whether it’s because of his weakness of will or personality, a ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ or his own positions, inspired by his family and his close circle.”

5. “The prime minister’s Hitlerization of the transient regional threats, dangerous as they may be, is Holocaust degradation at its worst.’

6. “We are at the beginning of a road that will lead to an inevitable aftermath like Belfast/Bosnia or old Johannesburg – perhaps all three of them together – through blindness, internal strife and stupefaction that can rival only the tragedies that peer at us from archeological remains, the pages of the Talmud and [Josephus Flavius’] “The Jewish War.”

7. “The hidden agenda will inevitably create one state, which will either be an ‘apartheid state’ that will face resistance from those it controls and be ostracized by the entire world and ultimately collapse. Or it will be a binational state with a minority of Jews in a generation or two, which will most likely descend into a protracted civil war between its two sides.”

8. “At the top of their true agenda, Netanyahu and his government don’t have the country’s security, safeguarding democracy or internal unity, but rather a devious and creeping advancement of a ‘one-state’ agenda, from the Jordan to the sea, which constitutes a direct threat to the very identity and future of Israel and the entire Zionist project.”

9. “In world capitals, in London and Washington, in Berlin and Paris, in Moscow and Beijing – no leader believes even one word from Netanyahu and his government. The government’s hidden agenda will enlist the entire world against us, undermine Israeli society and tear it from within and sever us from the young generation of American Jews.”

10. “Out of reckless frivolity, Netanyahu squandered a rare opportunity to anchor generous force-building agreements with the United States [following the Iran deal]. In my opinion we will get $7-10 billion less than we might have gotten last year.”

11. “Why do we see in the government and its leader pessimism, passivity, anxiety, paralysis – instead of self-confidence, courage and a determination to act? Wailing victimhood steeped in self-pity, instead of pride in every Israeli’s heart? Division and discord, incitement of one against the other, instead of genuine fostering of national unity as well as the right to disagree? Preferential treatment for ‘big money’ instead of the citizen, his family, his right to earn a living and the future of his children? Rabble-rousing and brutalization rather than a tolerant and attentive discourse that recognizes the numerous varieties and culture that we harbor?”

12. “Only a blind, disingenuous, ignorant or kowtowing person will fail to recognize that the [government’s proposed laws] are a process of eroding democracy and the roots of fascism that have taken hold in this government. If it looks like the roots of fascism and walks like the roots of fascism and barks like the roots of fascism, then it is the roots of fascism.”