Radio host Dr. Michael Savage recently spoke with former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak on his nationally syndicated program, "The Savage Nation." Tensions have been rising in the volatile region in reaction to policies set forth by the Trump administration including the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and America’s departure from the Iran Nuclear Deal.
Barak, the joint most highly decorated soldier in Israel's history and once the commander of Israel's elite special forces, has been a steadfast supporter of peace for Israel and its neighbors. In his 2018 memoir "My Country, My Life," Barak chronicles his role in the nation’s past and looks ahead to the challenges that lie before the Jewish state.
In candid conversation, Barak offered his insight with Dr. Savage and his audience.
Barak on Turkey and Its Relationship With Israel:
Savage: We're speaking about the shared capital for the moment, and you know more about it than I do. What I fear is that this became a galvanizing moment for the enemies of Israel especially Turkey now which has a sizable military. Do you think that that is more posturing than it is a threat to the survival of Israel?
Barak: Look, after seventy years, seven walls, two dividers, infinite number of operations in between Israel. That one of the major achievement. We are the strongest country, thousand miles around Jerusalem from Benghazi in Libya to Tehran including those two capitals. No single enemy or combination of neighbors can create an existential threat to Israel. Of course, they can cause loss of life, they can impose a war, usually a war can be imposed by one side. Israel is strong enough. I am confident that out of this position of strength, we should master the self-confidence to be ready to defend ourselves. Turkey is not an enemy for fighting. We have a very close economic relationship, there many other interests involved. It's the rhetoric of Erdogan is hard to be absorbed and listened to and should be responded to from time to time. But there are too many interests between us and Turkey to let it deteriorate into war.
On the Iran Nuclear Deal:
Savage: I'd like to continue at this time with the issue of the Iran Nuclear Deal. I personally do agree that Trump was right and destroying the Iran Nuclear Deal was the right move. What do you think, Mr. Barack?
Barak: In the years 2009 to 2012, I was more focused than Netanyahu and Lieberman about the need for Israel to be ready, but they were a part of it. Of course, Bibi supported as well as Lieberman way to develop operation capabilities to prepare the ground for international legitimacy for Israel to strike. And when it becomes kind of a compelling imperative to strike because they are going to do enter into what I call "The Zone of Immunity" where our operation cannot be delayed for long enough to be ready to strike on the Iranian nuclear facilities. But once President Obama signed the deal, it became a deal. It's a bad deal. When I was asked about it I answered, “I have mixed feelings about Obama deal." I was asked, “What do you mean by mixed feelings?” I answered, “It's like seeing your mother-in-law driving your new BMW over the cliff.” It really is a feeling, but something that became a reality once the president signed it.
The same applies now. I thought that there are more logical ways to deal with the violations of the Iranians. Basically, they are doing very bad things, but none of them is explicitly a breaking of the deal. Besides it’s an important issue and it has to do with the nuclear capability. It relates to it, but it's not part of their deal whether we like it or not. Sowing insurgency or terror all over the Middle East is a bad thing but it is not a part of the deal.
So the more logical approach, in my judgment, was to call upon the Europeans, the Russians and together coordinate an appeal to the Iranians to change their behavior or else. But that is part of the deal and you have to remember this: Even when America pulled out of the deal, the deal is still there. Once President Trump announced it, once again it's part of reality. It's a good and bad news. The good news is that the Iranians are so frightened now that they suspect that President Trump now with Pompeo on one side and Bolton of the other side, they suspect a period where America will look for the slightest violation or even fabricated violation of the agreement in order to strike on the Iranian nuclear facilities. The Iranians are so worried about it that they are behaving much more cautiously. We could see this even a few days ago when Israel hit very hard their deployment in Syria. They didn't respond practically and they might be very cautious in the coming months as well.
On Why a Two State Solution Is the Only Solution Offering Israel Long Term Survival:
Savage: If this were coming from a standard politician who had no military history, people would shrug it off, but it's coming from a war hero and that is what's most intriguing to me. Many people do not understand that you have been there and done that a thousand times over. One of your main points in this book that I found most intriguing, Mr. Barack, is that you say the democratic principles and the core values of Zionism are what you're standing for but you also say that Israel's own security and national interest would dictate that however long it might take a two-state solution is the only conceivable destination. Now, many people would argue and that would be mainly Americans I would assume except perhaps the ultra-orthodox in Israel as well that not one hectare of Jewish land should be given to the Palestinians which I find untenable because there are four million people who don't agree with that position and they're not going anywhere. But aside from that how would you prevent a Palestinian nation in the future from wanting what Israel has which would be an air force and an army and once that air force and army would be developed would they not then continue on the footing that they're on now which is to annihilate the Jewish presence?
Barak: Oh, it's a complicated question. It might take an hour to fully answer, but let me put the following statement. First of all in Israel, most people with my background, most people who spent decades fighting for Israel’s security being in the IDF or in the Armed Forces or in the Secret Service in Shabak or in the Mossad or in the police, 90 percent of them believe like me and I like our government that the objective and the only sustainable arrangement is a two-state solution.
“Don’t accelerate [the coming of the] Messiah."
“If you will it, it is not a dream.”
—Ehud Barak, "My Country, My Life"
“They say in the Middle East a pessimist is simply an optimist with experience.”
Listeners to the Savage Nation Weighed in on Twitter With Responses to the Interview Saying:
Michael, it was very informative to hear Barack’s solution to a very complex issue. However, the Palestinians have been offered several opportunities to resolve this situation but have rejected them all and have never negotiated in good faith. A two state solution was offered.
As a Lebanese druze American ( who voted for trump )I was honestly intrigued by your conversation with barak. Valuable in a time where fire spreads widely. Keep going Dr.Savage your one of a kind !
Compared to coverage of the Royal Wedding, the whole interview was newsworthy. I particularly liked when he said: “Don’t accelerate [the coming of the] Messiah.” A great quote right there.
Michael Savage's latest book "God, Faith, and Reason" is now available on Amazon.
In 2016, after 22 years on the air, Michael Savage was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame, an honor he calls “the capstone of my life.” The Savage Nation, the country’s number one streaming radio show, is one of the top programs in America, with millions of listeners and broadcast on more than 230 stations, including WABC and KSFO. A prolific New York Times best-selling author, Dr. Savage has been profiled in Playboy and The New Yorker, and he has been awarded the Freedom of Speech Award by Talkers magazine. He received his PhD in epidemiology and nutrition sciences from the University of California at Berkeley. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.