Ehud Barak to blame for Hamas invasion, says former ally

Former justice minister Haim Ramon excoriates former prime minister, says he created dynamic that ultimately led to October 7th massacre.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A former ally of ex-prime minister and defense minister Ehud Barak blamed him Tuesday for the Hamas invasion October 7 in which its terrorists murdered some 1,400 men, women and children and took more than 200 people as hostages into the Gaza Strip.

Haim Rimon, once a senior member of the Labor party and an ally of Barak, excoriated the former premier in a post to Twitter/X, accusing him of being the “father” of Israel’s policy of containment for Hamas, which Rimon said ultimately led to last week’s massacre.

“When Ehud Barak was interviewed today and explained that it is impossible to completely wipe out Hamas in the Gaza Strip and that it is only necessary to eliminate its operational capabilities, we must remember that he is the father of the concept of ‘coexistence’ with the Hamas regime,” Ramon posted to X.

This concept “that Barak conceived and promoted is the basis of the failure that allowed the terrible massacre,” he wrote. “Barak is responsible for the concept that failed, and despite this he calls for it to be added and maintained and still opposes the elimination of Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip.”

Ramon was justice minister when Barak was defense minister in Ehud Olmert’s government in 2007 and came up with the idea when Hamas wrested power over the coastal enclave from the Palestinian Authority in a violent coup, Ramon wrote.

He claimed that he had “strongly opposed” Barak’s concept, demanding “the overthrow of Hamas’ rule,” but that the defense minister had favored containment of the terror instead to the villages in the south.

Ramon also took issue with Barak’s charge, posted to X, that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom he has worked for years to topple, was the only one responsible for strengthening Hamas. While Netanyahu is “foremost” at fault for preserving the operational concept, Barak is “right behind him on the list,” he wrote.

Presumably Netanyahu should get the lion’s share of the blame because of his 16 years at the country’s helm, when the phrase “mow the grass” became a euphemism describing the military operations Israel has executed against the terror regime every few years to deter it after periodic rounds of mass rocket launches and other terror attacks against the Jewish state’s civilian population.

According to Ramon, Barak had even “tried to prevent Operation Cast Lead,” the first of these missions, under Olmert, and after the government overrode his opposition, “he worked ceaselessly to stop it. Towards the end of Cast Lead, when we could have liquidated the entire leadership of Hamas, which was hiding under the Shifa Hospital, Barak threw all his weight into preventing their elimination.”

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“Unfortunately,” he concluded, “all those who rightly demand that Netanyahu acknowledge his responsibility, for some reason exempt Barak from his responsibility and even avoid mentioning who it was who came up with the concept and led it for years.”

Israel declared war on Hamas the day after its mass attack, and is now poised at the border for a land invasion involving masses of ground troops and armored columns. Netanyahu has vowed to utterly destroy the terror organization.