Ehud Barak

Ehud Barak (Hebrewאֵהוּד בָּרָק , born Ehud Brog; 12 February 1942) is an Israeli politician who served as the tenth Prime Minister from 1999 to 2001. He was leader of the Labor Party until January 2011.[1] He previously held the posts of Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister in Benjamin Netanyahu's second government from 2009 to 2013.

He is the joint most highly decorated soldier in Israel's history, having taken part in many battles and combat missions. He is a graduate in physics, mathematics, and economics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Stanford University. He served as an officer in the Israel Defense Forces. Following a highly decorated career, he was appointed Chief of General Staff in 1991, serving until 1995. On 26 November 2012 he announced that he would retire from politics after the next election in January 2013.[2]

Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak 2016 - Herzliya Conference 2016 3015 (cropped)
Barak in 2016
10th Prime Minister of Israel
In office
6 July 1999 – 7 March 2001
PresidentEzer Weizman
Moshe Katsav
DeputyYitzhak Mordechai
David Levy
Binyamin Ben-Eliezer
Preceded byBenjamin Netanyahu
Succeeded byAriel Sharon
Minister of Defense
In office
18 June 2007 – 18 March 2013
Prime MinisterEhud Olmert
Benjamin Netanyahu
DeputyMatan Vilnai
Preceded byAmir Peretz
Succeeded byMoshe Ya'alon
In office
6 July 1999 – 7 March 2001
Prime MinisterHimself
DeputyEfraim Sneh
Preceded byMoshe Arens
Succeeded byBinyamin Ben-Eliezer
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
22 November 1995 – 18 June 1996
Prime MinisterShimon Peres
DeputyEli Dayan
Preceded byShimon Peres
Succeeded byDavid Levy
Chief of General Staff
In office
1 April 1991 – 1 January 1995
PresidentChaim Herzog
Ezer Weizman
Prime MinisterYitzhak Shamir
Yitzhak Rabin
DeputyAmnon Lipkin-Shahak
Matan Vilnai
MinisterMoshe Arens
Yitzhak Rabin
Preceded byDan Shomron
Succeeded byAmnon Lipkin-Shahak
Personal details
Ehud Brog

12 February 1942 (age 77)
Mishmar HaSharon,
Mandatory Palestine
Political partyLabor Party (until 2011)
Independence (from 2011)
Spouse(s)Nava Cohen (divorced)
Nili Priel
Alma materHebrew University of Jerusalem
Stanford University
ProfessionMilitary officer
AwardsMedal of Distinguished Service
Tzalash (4)
Legion of Merit
DoD Medal for Distinguished Public Service
Ehud Barak's signature
Military service
Allegiance Israel
Branch/serviceFlag of the Israel Defense Forces.svg Israeli Defense Forces
Years of service1959–1995
RankIDF rav aluf rotated.svg Lieutenant general
UnitSayeret Matkal
CommandsChief of General Staff
Deputy Chief of General Staff
Central Command
Military Intelligence Directorate Aman
Sayeret Matkal
Battles/warsSix-Day War
Yom Kippur War
Operation Entebbe

Personal life

Barak was born on 12 February 1942 in kibbutz Mishmar HaSharon in what was then Mandatory Palestine.[3] He is the eldest of four sons of Esther (née Godin; 25 June 1914 – 12 August 2013) and Yisrael Mendel Brog (24 August 1910 – 8 February 2002).

His paternal grandparents, Frieda and Reuven Brog, were murdered in Pušalotas (Pushelat) in the northern Lithuania (then ruled by Russian Empire) in 1912, leaving his father orphaned at the age of two. Barak's maternal grandparents, Elka and Shmuel Godin, died at the Treblinka extermination camp during the Holocaust.

Ehud hebraized his family name from "Brog" to "Barak" in 1972. It was during his military service that he met his future wife, Nava (née Cohen, born 8 April 1947 in Tiberias). They had three daughters together: Michal (born 9 August 1970), Yael (born 23 October 1974) and Anat (born 16 October 1981). He has grandchildren.[4] Barak divorced Nava in August 2003. On 30 July 2007, Barak married Nili Priel (born 25 April 1944) in a small ceremony in his private residence. In his spare time, Barak enjoys reading works by writers such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,[5] and he is a classical pianist, with many years of study behind him.


Barak earned his bachelor's degree in physics and mathematics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1968, and his master's degree in engineering-economic systems in 1978 from Stanford University, in California.

Military service

Ehud Barak military
Ehud Barak as Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces

Barak joined the Israel Defense Forces (I.D.F.) in 1959. He served in the IDF for 35 years, rising to the position of Chief of the General Staff and the rank of Rav Aluf (Lieutenant-General), the highest in the Israeli military. During his service as a commando in the elite Sayeret Matkal, Barak led several highly acclaimed operations, such as: "Operation Isotope", the mission to free the hostages on board the hijacked Sabena Flight 571 at Lod Airport in 1972; the covert 1973 Israeli raid on Lebanon in Beirut, in which he was disguised as a woman to kill members of the Palestine Liberation Organization; Barak was also a key architect of the June 1976 Operation Entebbe, another rescue mission to free the hostages of the Air France aircraft hijacked by terrorists and forced to land at the Entebbe Airport in Uganda. These highly acclaimed operations, along with Operation Bayonet, led to the dismantling of Palestinian terrorist cell Black September. It has been alluded that Barak also masterminded the Tunis Raid on 16 April 1988, in which PLO leader Abu Jihad was killed.[6]

During the Yom Kippur War, Barak commanded an improvised regiment of tanks which, among other things, helped rescue paratrooper battalion 890, commanded by Yitzhak Mordechai, which was suffering heavy losses in the Battle of the Chinese Farm. He went on the command the 401st armored brigade and the 611st "Pillar of Fire" and 252nd "Sinai" divisions, before his appointment to head the IDF's Planning Directorate. Barak later served as head of Aman, the Military Intelligence Directorate (1983–85), head of Central Command (1986–87) and Deputy Chief of the General Staff (1987–91). He served as Chief of the General Staff between 1 April 1991 and 1 January 1995. During this period he implemented the first Oslo Accords and participated in the negotiations towards the Israel–Jordan peace treaty.

Barak was awarded the Medal of Distinguished Service and four Chief of Staff citations (Tzalash HaRamatkal) for courage and operational excellence.[7] These five decorations make him the most decorated soldier in Israeli history (jointly with close friend Nechemya Cohen and Major Amitai Hason).[8] In 1992 he was awarded the Legion of Merit (Commander) by the United States.[9] In 2012, he was again awarded by the United States with the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service.[10]

Political career

On 7 July 1995, Barak was appointed Minister of Internal Affairs by Yitzhak Rabin. When Shimon Peres formed a new government following Rabin's assassination in November 1995, Barak was made Minister of Foreign Affairs (1995–96).[11] He was elected to the Knesset on the Labor Party list in 1996, and served as a member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. Following internal elections after Peres' defeat in the election for Prime Minister in 1996, Barak became the leader of the Labor Party.

Prime Minister of Israel

Barak pentagon 1999
Barak at the Pentagon (1999)
Ehud Barak shaking hands with Yasser Arafat, joined by President Bill Clinton (1999)

In the 1999 Prime Ministerial election, Barak beat Benjamin Netanyahu by a wide margin. However, he sparked controversy by deciding to form a coalition with the ultra-Orthodox party Shas, who had won an unprecedented 17 seats in the 120-seat Knesset. Shas grudgingly agreed to Barak's terms that they eject their leader Aryeh Deri, a convicted felon, and enact reform to "clean up" in-party corruption. Consequentially, the left wing Meretz party quit the coalition after they failed to agree on the powers to be given to a Shas deputy minister in the Ministry of Education.

In 1999 Barak gave a campaign promise to end Israel's 22-year-long occupation of Southern Lebanon within a year. On 24 May 2000 Israel withdrew from Southern Lebanon. On 7 October, three Israeli soldiers were killed in a border raid by Hezbollah and their bodies were subsequently captured. The bodies of these soldiers, along with the living Elhanan Tenenbaum, were eventually exchanged for Lebanese captives in 2004.

The Barak government resumed peace negotiations with the PLO, stating that "Every attempt [by the State of Israel] to keep hold of this area [the West Bank and Gaza] as one political entity leads, necessarily, to either a nondemocratic or a non-Jewish state. Because if the Palestinians vote, then it is a binational state, and if they don't vote it is an apartheid state."[12] As part of these negotiations, Barak took part in the Camp David 2000 Summit which was meant finally to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict but failed. Barak also allowed Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami to attend the Taba Summit with the leadership of the Palestinian Authority, after his government had fallen.

Domestic issues

On 22 August 1999, Barak appointed the Tal committee which dealt with the controversial issue of ultra-Orthodox Jews' exemption from military service.[13] Following the failure of the Camp David summit with Arafat and Bill Clinton in the summer of 2000, when the original 7 years mandate of the PNA expired, and just after Israel pulled out its last troops out of southern Lebanon in May 2000, the weeks-long Riots in October 2000 led to the killing of twelve Israeli Arabs and one Palestinian by Israel Police and one Jewish civilian by Israeli Arabs.


In 2001, Barak called a special election for Prime Minister. In the contest, he was defeated by Likud leader Ariel Sharon, and subsequently resigned as Labor leader and from the Knesset. He left Israel to work as a senior advisor with United States-based Electronic Data Systems. He also partnered with a private equity company focused on "security-related" work.

Return to politics

Flickr - Israel Defense Forces - Prime Minister and Defense Minister at Weaponry Display
Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after the Victoria Affair, March 2011

In 2005, Barak announced his return to Israeli politics, and ran for leadership of the Labor Party in November. However, in light of his weak poll showings, Barak dropped out of the race early and declared his support for veteran statesman Shimon Peres. Following his failed attempt to maintain leadership of the Labor party, Barak became a partner of the investment company SCP Private Equity Partners, Pennsylvania. He also established a company "Ehud Barak Limited" which is thought to have made over NIS 30 million.[14]

After Peres lost the race to Amir Peretz and left the Labor party, Barak announced he would stay at the party, despite his shaky relationship with its newly elected leader. He declared, however, that he would not run for a spot on the Labor party's Knesset list for the March 2006 elections. Barak's attempt to return to a prominent role in Israel politics seemed to have failed. However, Peretz's hold on the Labor leadership proved unexpectedly shaky as he was badly damaged by negative views of his performance as Defense Minister during the 2006 Lebanon War, which was seen as something less than a success in Israel.[15]

In January 2007 Barak launched a bid to recapture the leadership of the Labor party in a letter acknowledging "mistakes" and "inexperience" during his tenure as Prime Minister.[16] In early March 2007, a poll of Labor Party primary voters put Barak ahead of all other opponents, including Peretz.[17] In the first round of voting, on 28 May 2007, he gained 39% of the votes, more than his two closest rivals, but not enough to win the election.[18]

As a result, Barak faced a runoff against the second-place finisher, Ami Ayalon, on 12 June 2007, which he won by a narrow margin.[19]

Barak has been critical of what he sees as racist sentiments that have recently been expressed by some Israeli rabbis and rebbetzins; he views such statements as a threat to Israeli unity and that they may lead Israeli society into a "dark and dangerous place".[20]

Defense Minister

Barak - Rice 2007 08 01 israel3 600
Ehud Barak and Condoleezza Rice (2007)

As head of the Labor Party

After winning back the leadership of the Labor party, Barak was sworn in as Minister of Defense on 18 June 2007, as part of Prime Minister Olmert's cabinet reshuffle. However, on 1 July 2007, Barak led a successful effort in the Labor central committee to stipulate that Labor would leave the government coalition if Olmert did not resign by September or October 2007. At that time the Winograd Commission would publish its final report on the performance of the Israel Defense Forces and its civilian leadership. The preliminary Winograd report released earlier this year laid most of the blame on Olmert for poorly planning, executing, and reviewing war strategies in the 2006 conflict against Hezbollah.[21]

From December 2008 to January 2009, Barak led Operation Cast Lead.[22]

Labor won only 13 out of the 120 Knesset seats in the 2009 elections, making them the fourth largest party. Barak and other Labor officials initially stated they would not take part in the next government. However, over the objections of some in the Labor party, Barak later reached an agreement under which Labor joined the governing coalition. Barak retained his position as Defense Minister.

Leaving the Labor Party

In January 2011, Labor Party leader Barak formed a breakaway party, Independence, which enabled him to maintain his loyal Labor's MK faction within Netanyahu's government, and prevented the departure of Labor party as a whole from Netanyahu's coalition-government. Labor previously threatened to force Barak to do so. After Barak's move, Netanyahu was able to maintain a majority of 66 MK (out of 120 in the Knesset), previously having 74 MKs within his majority coalition.

In February 2011, Barak attended a ceremony at the UN for the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. Barak told the UN General Assembly that "an independent, strong, thriving and peaceful State of Israel is the vengeance of the dead."[23]

In 2012, Barak's Independence party was due to run for election but decided not to, choosing to quit politics. Barak planned to quit since Operation Pillar of Defense and the Gaza War but postponed it till later that year.[24]

Barak stated during an American television interview that he would "probably" strive for nuclear weapons if he were in Iran's position, adding "I don't delude myself that they are doing it just because of Israel". This comment has been criticized and compared to Barak's comment in 1998 during a television interview when he said that if he were a Palestinian he would probably have joined one of the terror organizations.[25]


In an interview with Haaretz reported in January 2015, Barak was asked to explain the source of his "big" capital, with which he "bought 5 apartments and connected them," and by which he "lives in a giant rental apartment in a luxury high rise." Barak said he currently earns more than a million dollars a year, and that from 2001–2007, he also earned more than a million dollars every year, from giving lectures and from consulting for hedge funds. Barak also said he made millions of dollars more from his investments in Israeli real estate properties.[26]

In the interview, Barak was asked whether he is a lobbyist that earns a living from "opening doors." The interviewer stated "You have arrived recently at the Kazakhstan despot Nazarbayev and the president of Ghana. You are received immediately." Barak confirmed that he has been received by these heads of state but denied earning money from opening doors for international business deals for Israeli and foreign corporations, and said he does not see any ethical or moral problems in his business activities. He further said there is no logic to demand of him, after "the natural process in democracy has ended" to not utilize the tools he accumulated in his career to secure his financial future. When asked if his financial worth is 10-15 million dollars, Barak said "I'm not far from there."[26]

References in popular culture

See also


  1. ^ Rebecca Anna Stoil (17 January 2011). "Barak, 4 other MKs, to split from". The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 4 March 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  2. ^ "RT Ehud Barak to step down as Israeli Defense Minister, retire from politics". Russia. RT. 26 November 2012. Archived from the original on 28 June 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  3. ^ "Biography and Video Interview of Ehud Barak at Academy of Achievement". San Antonio, Texas: Achievement. 4 May 2001. Archived from the original on 12 May 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  4. ^ "טייקון בהתהוות: איך זה שלאהוד ברק יש כל כך הרבה כסף?". 13 February 2014.
  5. ^ Weitz, Gidi (9 May 2011). "Peace, politics, and Patek Philippe: An interview with Ehud Barak". Haaretz. Archived from the original on 27 November 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  6. ^ "Long history of Israel's 'covert killing'". BBC News. 29 January 2010. Archived from the original on 1 February 2010.
  7. ^ Gal Perl Finkel, Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water, The Jerusalem Post, August 09, 2018.
  8. ^ Offer Drori, גיבורי ישראל מרובי העיטורים – צדק היסטורי, 4 February 2009 (Hebrew) Archived 13 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ An image of Barak receiving the award on 14 January 1993 in the Pentagon. Note that according to IDF regulations foreign medals are not worn on the uniform.
  10. ^ "Photo of the Day: Nov. 30, 2012 (Panetta, Barak Hug it Out Edition)". Defense News. 30 November 2012. Archived from the original on 21 January 2013. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  11. ^ "FM Barak- Address to NJCRAC – Feb 11- 1996". 11 February 1996. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  12. ^ Jimmy Carter (12 April 2012). "Don't Give Up on Mideast Peace". International Herald Tribune. Archived from the original on 15 April 2012.
  13. ^ הועדה לגבוש ההסדר הראוי בנושא גיוס בני ישיבות - דו"ח [The Committee to Formulate the Proper Arrangement Regarding the Enlistment of Yeshiva Students - Report] (in Hebrew). Archived from the original on 3 October 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
  14. ^ Blau, Uri (24 May 2007). "Ehud Barak Ltd". Haaretz Daily Newspaper. Archived from the original on 11 March 2014. Retrieved 14 March 2013.
  15. ^ "Kadima nominates Peres for president". Kuwait Times.
  16. ^ "Former Israeli PM Barak in New Leadership Bid". Reuters. 7 January 2007. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012.
  17. ^ Yossi Verter (3 March 2007). "Poll: Barak, Ayalon lead Peretz in the Labor leadership primaries". Haaretz. Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  18. ^ "Peretz loses Israeli party vote". BBC News. 3 January 2010. Archived from the original on 22 April 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2007.
  19. ^ "Barak wins Labor Party primary election: party officials". International Herald Tribune. 12 June 2007.
  20. ^ Mualem, Mazal (29 December 2010). "Barak: Anti-Arab letters by rabbis and rabbis' wives leading Israel into dark place". Haaretz. Archived from the original on 1 January 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
  21. ^ Harel, Amos. "Remember the Second Lebanon War". Haaretz Daily Newspaper Ltd.
  22. ^ "Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict" (PDF). United Nations Human Rights Council. 15 September 2009. p. 106. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  23. ^ Jordana Horn. "Barak at UN: Strong Israel is revenge of the Nazis' victims". The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2011.
  24. ^ Ryan Jones (26 November 2012). "Ehud Barak drops out of Israeli politics". Israel Today. Archived from the original on 22 October 2013.
  25. ^ "Barak criticized over Iran comments". The Irish Times.
  26. ^ a b Ehud Barak warns that Israel under Netanyahu is on the road to disaster Archived 23 September 2016 at the Wayback Machine (8 January 2015), Haaretz
  27. ^ Dargis, Manohla (23 December 2005). "An Action Film About the Need to Talk". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 4 October 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2009.


  • Bregman, Ahron Elusive Peace: How the Holy Land Defeated America.
  • Clinton, Bill (2005). My Life. Vintage. ISBN 1-4000-3003-X.
  • Dromi, Uri (5 November 2005). "Still craving peace 10 years after Rabin". New Straits Times, p. 20.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Benjamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister of Israel
Succeeded by
Ariel Sharon
Party political offices
Preceded by
Shimon Peres
Leader of the Israeli Labor Party
Succeeded by
Benjamin Ben-Eliezer
Preceded by
Amir Peretz
Leader of the Israeli Labor Party
Succeeded by
Shelly Yachimovich
Preceded by
Leader of the Independence party
Succeeded by
1999 Israeli general election

Early general elections for both the Prime Minister and the Knesset were held in Israel on 17 May 1999 following a vote of no confidence in the government; the incumbent Likud Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, ran for re-election.

This election was only the second time in Israeli history an election had been held for the Prime Minister's post in addition to elections for the Knesset. The first such election, in 1996 had been an extremely tight contest between Likud's Benjamin Netanyahu on the right, and Labor's Shimon Peres on the left; the right had won by less than one percent (about 29,000 votes).

Ehud Barak, promising to storm the citadels of peace regarding negotiations with the Palestinians and withdraw from Lebanon by July 2000, won the election in a landslide victory.

1999 in Israel

Events in the year 1999 in Israel.

2000 Camp David Summit

The 2000 Camp David Summit was a summit meeting at Camp David between United States president Bill Clinton, Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat. The summit took place between 11 and 25 July 2000 and was an effort to end the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. The summit ended without an agreement.

2000 in Israel

Events in the year 2000 in Israel.

2001 Israeli prime ministerial election

Elections for Prime Minister were held in Israel on 6 February 2001 following the resignation of the incumbent, Labour's Ehud Barak. Barak stood for re-election against Likud's Ariel Sharon.

It was the third and last Prime Ministerial election (separate elections were scrapped before the next Knesset elections in 2003), and the only one which was not held alongside simultaneous Knesset elections.

Voter turnout was 62.3%, the lowest turnout for any national election held in Israel. The low turnout was at least partially due to many Israeli Arabs boycotting the poll in protest at the October 2000 events in which 12 Israeli Arabs were killed by the police. Other possible reasons are Sharon's massive advantage in advance polls, and the lack of enthusiasm of Barak supporters due to his perceived failings, notably, the failure of the 2000 Camp David talks with the Palestinians, and the "turbine affair" in which Barak yielded to the religious parties' pressure, violating previous promises.

2011 Israeli Labor Party leadership election

Following the departure of Ehud Barak from the membership and leadership of the Israeli Labor Party, a leadership election was called.

Ami Ayalon

Amihai "Ami" Ayalon (Hebrew: עמיחי "עמי" איילון‎, born 27 June 1945) is an Israeli politician and a former member of the Knesset for the Labor Party. He was previously head of the Shin Bet, Israel's secret service, and commander-in-chief of the Navy. He came in second to Ehud Barak in a Labor party leadership election in June 2007, and was appointed a Minister without Portfolio in September 2007. He is one of the recipients of Israel's highest decoration, the Medal of Valor.

Amir Peretz

Amir Peretz (Hebrew: עמיר פרץ‬; born Armand Peretz on 9 March 1952) is an Israeli politician who currently serves as a member of the Knesset for the Zionist Union. He previously served as Minister of Defence, leader of the Labor Party and Minister of Environmental Protection.

Peretz is the former chairman of the Histadrut trade union federation and defeated Shimon Peres in the primary elections for the Labor leadership on 9 November 2005. He led the Labor Party to a second place showing in the 2006 elections and became Defense Minister on 4 May 2006. He was defeated by Ehud Barak for the Labor leadership on 12 June 2007 and resigned from the cabinet. He joined the Hatnuah party in December 2012, before rejoining the Labor Party in September 2015.

Ehud (given name)

Ehud (Hebrew: אֵהוּד‬) is a Biblical given name, currently common in Israel. The etymology is unknown.

The name "Ehud" was not attested as a first name among Jews until the 20th century. Zionism, as part of its nation-building process—encouraged the use of names of Jewish heroes and warriors of ancient times, such as Ehud, and as a result, it has become a common name in contemporary Israel. Two prime ministers of Israel have had it as a first name: Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert.

Israelis named Ehud are often nicknamed "Udi".

While the earliest known use is the Hebrew judge, the etymology is unknown. According to Amos Hakham medieval rabbis favored one of two improbable explanations. Some, like the Vilna Gaon, claimed that the original name was אחוד‬ (Eħud), but the letter ח‬ ħet had become a ה‬ he and thus relates to 'unity' אחד‬. Others claimed that the name relates to 'glory' הוד‬. The modern Israeli Hebrew verb, 'he sympathized' אהד‬ is unrelated to the Biblical name Ehud. Eliezer Ben-Yehuda coined this verb, deriving it from the Arabic cognate hawadah, 'he treated with indulgence' or kindness. None of the above claims are accepted by contemporary linguists as legitimate etymologies or translations for the name.

Ehud can refer to the following people

Ehud (Ehud ben Gera), Hebrew judge in the Book of Judges

Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister from 2006 to 2009

Ehud Barak, the Israeli prime minister from 1999 to 2001, and minister of defense as of 2007

Ehud "Udi" Adam, retired Israeli general

Ehud Adiv, Israeli, formerly a pro-Palestinian political activist

Ehud Banai (born 1953), Israeli singer and songwriter

Ehud Hrushovski, Israeli mathematician

Ehud Manor (died 2005), Israeli poet and TV personality

Ehud Netzer, Israeli archaeologist

Ehud Shapiro, Israeli scientist

Ehud Tenenbaum, Israeli hacker

Ehud Vaks, Israeli judo athlete

Independence (Israeli political party)

Independence (Hebrew: העצמאות‎, Ha'Atzma'ut) is a political party in Israel. It was launched by Defense Minister Ehud Barak on 17 January 2011 after he and four other Labor Party MKs announced their secession from the caucus. In the words of the announcement, the faction aims to be "centrist, Zionist, and democratic" and to establish itself as a separate political party. It was built on the vestiges of the Third Way party. Nine days after Barak announced his retirement from politics, it was announced that Independence would not contest the 2013 Knesset elections.

Israeli military decorations

The Israeli military decorations are the decorations awarded to soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces who exhibit extraordinary bravery and courage.

Its decorations consist of the Medal of Valor (the highest decoration in the IDF), the Medal of Courage, and the Medal of Distinguished Service. It also includes the Citations (Tzalash), which are awarded in four classes.

Two soldiers share the title of being the most decorated soldier of the IDF: Captain Nechemya Cohen (1943–1967), and General Ehud Barak (formerly Chief of Staff, later Prime Minister).

Michael Harish

Michael Harish (Hebrew: מיכאל חריש‎, born 28 November 1936) is a former Israeli politician who served as Minister of Industry and Trade between 1992 and 1996. Since 23 January 2011, he has served as the temporary chairman of the Labor Party, following the resignation of Ehud Barak as party chairman.

Nechemya Cohen

Nechemiah Cohen (April 30, 1943 – June 5, 1967) is the most decorated soldier in the history of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). He shares this honour with close friend and former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and Major Amitai Hason. He received five decorations – one Medal of Distinguished Service and four Chief Of Staff Citations. Cohen was killed in combat near the City of Gaza on June 5, 1967, the first day of the Six-Day War, aged 24.

Persona Non Grata (2003 film)

Persona Non Grata is a 2003 documentary film directed by Oliver Stone for the HBO series America Undercover about the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. It is a highly personal journey in occupied Palestine including interviews of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, Israeli Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu, but also of Hamas militants.The film was presented as a special event in the New Territories section of the 60th Venice International Film Festival.

PingPong (band)

PingPong (Hebrew: פינג פונג‎) is an Israeli pop quartet that represented Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2000 with the song Sameach (Hebrew: שמח‎, lit. Happy).

The members of the band were: Guy Assif, Ahal Eden, Roy Arad and Yifat Giladi. The band released one album Between Moral and Fashion (2000, Hed Arzi) with songs like "Burger Ranch" (Israeli chain of fastfood restaurants), "I got a lover in Givati" and "Mr. Israel". This album sells only about 1000 copies.

Their hit song "Sameach" (Hebrew for "Happy") was admitted to the 2000 Eurovision Song Contest. At the close of voting the song had received 7 points, placing 22nd in a field of 24. The song lyrics mentioned a friend from Damascus who dates an Israeli girl. The band was sanctioned by the Israel Broadcasting Authority after waving the flag of Syria during the rehearsal and the video-clip of the song. They refused to back down for the performance in the final and pulled the flag out live, Ehud Barak was negotiating at the time. They also visited a Syrian community center in Stockholm, where the Eurovision was held. The song was covered by the band Beer7, a punk band which the vocalist is Roey's younger sister.

The band was the favourite of the NME magazine for winning the contest, but failed.

In 2006, a documentary called "Sipur Sameach" made by filmmaker Alon Weinstock was released on DVD, following the group's trip to Sweden.

Sharm El Sheikh Memorandum

The Sharm El Sheikh Memorandum, full name: The Sharm El Sheikh Memorandum on Implementation Timeline of Outstanding Commitments of Agreements Signed and the Resumption of Permanent Status Negotiations was a memorandum signed on September 4, 1999 by Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Barak and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat at Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt, overseen by the United States represented by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The memorandum was witnessed and co-signed by President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and King Abdullah of Jordan.

Twenty-eighth government of Israel

The twenty-eighth government of Israel was formed by Ehud Barak of One Israel on 6 July 1999 after his victory in the May election for Prime Minister. Alongside One Israel (an alliance of the Labor Party, Meimad and Gesher), Barak included Shas, Meretz, Yisrael BaAliyah, the Centre Party, the National Religious Party and United Torah Judaism in his coalition. United Torah Judaism left the government in September 1999 due to a dispute over the transport of a turbine on Shabbat.Following the outbreak of the al-Aqsa intifada, the government began to fall apart. Barak called a special election for Prime Minister in February 2001, which he lost to Likud leader Ariel Sharon. Sharon went on to form the twenty-ninth government on 7 March.

Twenty-seventh government of Israel

The twenty-seventh government of Israel was formed by Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud on 18 June 1996. Although his Likud-Gesher-Tzomet alliance won fewer seats that the Labor Party, Netanyahu formed the government after winning the country's first ever direct election for Prime Minister, narrowly defeating incumbent Shimon Peres. This government was the first formed by an Israeli national born in the state after independence in 1948 (the seventeenth government of 1974–1977 was the first to be formed by a native-born Israeli, although Rabin was born in the territory prior to independence).

Together with Likud-Gesher-Tzomet, Netanyahu also included Shas, the National Religious Party, Yisrael BaAliyah, United Torah Judaism and the Third Way in the government, with the coalition holding 66 of the 120 seats in the Knesset. The government was also supported, but not joined, by the two-seat Moledet faction. Gesher left the coalition on 6 January 1998, but the government remained in place until 6 July 1999, when Ehud Barak formed the twenty-eighth government after defeating Netanyahu in the 1999 election for Prime Minister.

Yair Naveh

Yair Naveh (Hebrew: יאיר נוה‎, born 5 September 1957) is a Major General in the Israel Defense Forces and a former Deputy Chief of the General Staff. In 1975, he was drafted into the IDF where he served in all positions in the Golani Infantry Brigade from Company Commander to Brigade Commander. He lives in Zikhron Ya'akov.

Naveh was previously the head of Israeli Home Front Command until nominated by former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to his post as Central Command chief. It is believed by some Israelis that Sharon nominated Naveh because he is the highest ranked religious officer and that as head of Central Command, he would be forced to carry out the evacuation of West Bank settlements in 2005.Naveh holds a bachelor's degree in History and Political Science, as well as a master's degree in Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies.

Naveh predicted that King Abdullah would fall and that he would be Jordan's last king, drawing an angry reaction from Jordan, for which Israel had to apologize on Naveh's behalf.

In 2008 Naveh's name was tied in with the alleged instructions to assassinate commanders in Palestinian terrorist organizations contrary to a court order. This alleged involvement was revealed through the documents leaked to Haaretz journalist Uri Blau by Naveh's former secretary, Anat Kamm.

After his military service, Naveh was appointed as CEO of CityPass, the consortium building the Jerusalem Light Rail. In October 2010, Defense Minister Ehud Barak has approved the appointment of Major General Yair Naveh, 53, as IDF Deputy Chief of Staff replacing Maj.-Gen. Benny Gantz. He was recommended for the post by the IDF Chief of Staff, Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi.

On 1 February 2011, General Naveh was appointed as the stopgap IDF Chief of Staff, and was expected to succeed outgoing Chief of Staff Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi on 14 February 2011. Naveh was appointed by Defense Minister Ehud Barak after Gen. Yoav Galant's appointment was withdrawn by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Ultimately, Benny Gantz was confirmed for the job and Naveh remained Deputy Chief of Staff until January 2013. He retired from the military in 2015.

The following is a list of positions Major General Yair Naveh has held during his service in the IDF:

1989: Commander of the Brigade along the border with Lebanon.

1991: Commander of the Golani Unit.

1994: Head of Safety Department of the Ground Forces.

1996: Chief Infantry and Paratroops officer.

1999: Commander of the Gaza Division.

2001: Chief of Staff of Army Headquarters.

2003: Awarded rank of Major General and appointed as GOC Homefront Command.

2005: Appointed GOC Central Command.

2010: Appointed Deputy Chief of Staff of IDF.

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