When the news about assassination of HAMAS leader Ahmed Yassin shocked the world, Ehud Barak was sorry that he had not been involved in assassinating Yassin.
Brigade general Ehud Barak was born in 1942 in Israel, in a family of emigrants from Poland and Lithuania. He studied in the USA, at Stanford University, has Bachelor’s degree in physics and mathemetics and Master’s degree in systems analysis. Barak was Interior Minister in the Cabinet of Rabin and Foreign Minister in the Cabinet of Peres. His most vivid heroic deeds as the Head of Israeli commandos was taking over the plane with 100 hostages in Lot airport, and night attack on Palestinian terrorists in Lebanon.
Reporter. Mr Barak, what did you feel after hearing about the death of Yassin?
Ehud Barak. One more determined foe has been thrown down, but not with my help.
Reporter. As far as I know, you also completed a number of assignments with lethal outcome for the enemies of Israel. Details of some special operations where you were in charge, have not been revealed so far.
Ehud Barak. This means they’d better not be revealed. As for death, it is good when your enemy is killed, not your soldiers. Death of a young soldier is a terrible thing for everybody: for his relatives, family, society, country. Soldiers die at the young age, and death deprives them of the chance to know a woman, express their creative activity, gain life experience. Death is always unfair and terrible.
Reporter. You are saying this! You sent soldiers to die.
Ehud Barak. War is war. Still, I am one of the country leaders willing to stop bloodshed everywhere in the world.
Reporter. If there is a need for you to conduct one more bold special operation, will you be able to do this?
Ehud Barak. Sure. I even want to do this. However, I realize that this will be like asking champion in gymnastics Olga Korbut – you are surprised that I know her name – to repeat her world record 10 years later.
Reporter. Mr. Barak, whom of your former soldiers-commandos do you remember most often?
Ehud Barak. Yasha Kazakov, who emigrated to Israel from the USSR, is an example of a brave warrior for me. During the war in Sinai Strait in 1970s, I was a commander for tank unit. At one point a group of new soldiers arrived, we were required to teach them the skills of tank fight. Yasha was one of the newcomers, and soon he became the best gunner in the brigade. He used to take two shells underarm and carried them to his tank. Each shell weighted 25 kilograms. At that time the USSR helped Egypt to fight Israel. One day I was discussing the other commanders what would happen if Russians started fighting on Egypt’s side. I said, “I don’t know the Red Army that much, but I have a Russian man in my unit. If all Red Army soldiers are like Yasha Kazakov, we will be in trouble”. I’d like to have such an Army.
Reporter. You are a professional military officer and commanded many troops. Would you be able to command Russian Army?
Ehud Barak. I am embarrassed to answer this kind of question. It is big honor to command the Red Army today, when it is reformi9ng itself. Even in the current peaceful period Russia is a big strong state, and its Army should be of similar kind. We have special attitude to Russian military: they defeated fascism.
Reporter. I saw the photo of you and your beautiful wife. Officers’ wives usually complain about their lives. What about your wife?
Ehud Barak. She has no reasons to complain. I am giving Nava the opportunity to be as she really is. I don’t restrict her freedom, and Nava does whatever she wants. We have a partnership in our family, and my wife lives in accord with her personality. This makes her happy and beautiful.
Reporter. Is this true that one day you came home after assassinating terrorists, dressed as a woman?
Ehud Barak. Yes, one day I came home in women’s clothing one day. Nava was surprised to see me like that, wearing make-up on my face. “Who kissed you, Ehud?”, she asked. I had to tell her about my “romantic night in Beirut”. We killed many enemies that night.
PS. In August 1972 during the Olympics in Munich, several Israeli sportsmen were held hostages and killed by Arabic terrorists.
Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meier said that the assasins of Israeli sportsmen must be killed themselves.
In the beginning of April, 1973 several tourists arrived in Beirut. All they were Israeli special service agents. After several days of preparations, Barak sad his subordinates, “The murderers of our sportsmen will be killed in their beds”.
Ehud Barak had to be dressed like a woman to reach the house of one of the terrorists. He hid UZI machine-gun and a pistol under the dress.
Ehud and his “boyfriend” were walking to the house of the terrorist. They were hugging and kissing each other. There were many policemen around. There was a vehicle at the doorway, and the reaction of the man in the vehicle was quick: he ran out of the car pulling out his gun. Barak was faster and shot his enemy point-blankly. This was one of the terrorist group leader bodyguards. Barak and his “boyfriend” remained in the doorway, the other members of the task force rushed upstairs. Three terrorists were sleeping peacefully. “Start!”, Barak commanded on the radio. Israeli officers broke in the apartment of the leader of “Black September”. He tried to take a gun, but Israelis were faster. They killed him and two other members of his group in two other apartments. One of the terrorists was in bed with his wife. The wife was begging for mercy and tried to cover the man with her body. She was wounded.
On the street, Israelis were engaged in exchange of fire with Lebanon police which continued sending reinforcements to the scene.
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