February 1, 2007
The Lion in Waiting
(Page 2 - Previous Page)"For the next several generations, Israel will be the strongest nation within 1,000 miles of Jerusalem," he said to applause.
On stage and on paper, there is no question Barak is Israel's most impressive leader alive today, but his short-lived performance as prime minister earned him the reputation of being cold and autocratic. In 2001, Ariel Sharon swept him out of office in a landslide.
But now, as Israel faces threats that appear even more dire than ever, and as its current leadership has proved wildly unpopular and inept, pundits are saying it might just be time to bring an adult -- a general -- back to power.
At the end of the Shabbat dinner, before our on-stage interview, I noticed Barak whisper to a waiter, who returned with a dozen lemon slices fanned out on a white saucer. In between visits from well-wishers, Barak would reach down for a lemon slice, tuck it into his mouth, suck it clean of juice, and return it crumpled to the plate.
So there is Ehud Barak, ready for another taste of Israeli -- and world -- politics. The video of Rob Eshman's interview with former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak is now available at http://www.jewishjournal.com/video/ehudbarak.rm. Length 1:18. Format: Real Video (streaming).
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