Ehud Barak (@barak_ehud) is an Israeli general and politician who served as the 10th Prime Minister from 1999 to 2001. He served as an officer in the Israel Defense Forces and is jointly the most highly decorated soldier in Israel’s history. He is also the author of My Country, My Life: Fighting for Israel, Searching for Peace.

What We Discuss with Ehud Barak:

  • What commanding special operations missions and running a country from a political perspective have in common, and how those skill sets interlace.
  • How to make decisions quickly when necessary (hint: the speed on the backend depends on the preparation on the front end).
  • How negotiations are prepped and run on the world stage when the stakes are high and lives are at stake.
  • What Ehud, who personally experienced the events of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre, thinks of the Steven Spielberg retelling and the actor cast to play him.
  • What Ehud sees for the future of peace in the Middle East.
  • And much more…

Because of remote audio issues, we couldn’t publish this episode under the flag of our usual podcast format. Instead, we have this over on our YouTube channel with subtitles here — or simply watch it below.

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My Country, My Life: Fighting for Israel, Searching for Peace by Ehud BarakIn the summer of 2000, the most decorated soldier in Israel’s history — Ehud Barak — set himself a challenge as daunting as any he had faced on the battlefield: to secure a final peace with the Palestinians. He would propose two states for two peoples, with a shared capital in Jerusalem. He knew the risks of failure. But he also knew the risks of not trying: letting slip perhaps the last chance for a generation to secure genuine peace.

It was a moment of truth.

It was one of many in a life intertwined, from the start, with that of Israel. Born on a kibbutz, Barak became commander of Israel’s elite special forces, then army Chief of Staff, and ultimately, Prime Minister.

My Country, My Life: Fighting for Israel, Searching for Peace tells the unvarnished story of his — and his country’s — first seven decades; of its major successes, but also its setbacks and misjudgments. He offers candid assessments of his fellow Israeli politicians, of the American administrations with which he worked, and of himself. Drawing on his experiences as a military and political leader, he sounds a powerful warning: Israel is at a crossroads, threatened by events beyond its borders and by divisions within. The two-state solution is more urgent than ever, not just for the Palestinians, but for the existential interests of Israel itself. Only by rediscovering the twin pillars on which it was built — military strength and moral purpose — can Israel thrive. [Amazon]

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