Sol Salbe asks which Barak to believe (both statements are from today’s Haaretz):
On the issue of Iran’s nuclear program Barak said the Islamic Republic was a threat but he was not as concerned over the issue as some of his colleagues. “Iran with nuclear weapons is a concrete threat to world peace,” he explained. “I am not one who believes that if Iran has nuclear weapons, it will immediately launch a bomb at a neighbor. Iran is well aware that a move like that will send it back thousands of years in time. So that is not the danger.”
“If it built even a primitive nuclear weapon like the type that destroyed Hiroshima, Iran would not hesitate to load it on a ship, arm it with a detonator operated by GPS and sail it into a vital port on the east coast of North America,” Barak told the audience.
—Institute for National Security Studies conference at Tel Aviv University
Sol says he thinks Barak really believes the first statement. He may be right. But I ask: does it really matter? If Barak had any significance as a political figure it might matter. You’d try to parse this for meaning because what he really believes about Iran might determine whether Israel was going to attack Iran or not.
But I’m not sure even Barak knows what he believes these days. Personally, I don’t think he really believes in anything. Survival is more like it. Polls do show Labor continuing to poll about 12 seats or so. But the party’s future is in the past–that is, it has no future. It stands for nothing. It has no leaders, especially no leaders to respect or admire.
You could reasonably argue that none of the parties have such figures, yet clearly they are not going to disappear any time soon (though Kadima might if Livni loses). Perhaps the rumors of Labor’s demise are premature. But with leaders like Barak making a hash of things, statements like the ones above clearly indicate that party doesn’t have a clue or a political agenda.