Outgoing Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak says Tel Aviv could not rely even on its close allies for its security, regardless of pledges made to defend Israel.
"When the world, including our good friends, says 'don't worry, we'll know to take care of even the worst case scenarios,' I say, don't take that for granted," Barak said in a farewell speech to the Knesset Foreign and Defense Committee on Monday. "Smart people with whom we speak in the world believe the root of the whole problem in the Middle East is connected to our inability to reach a peace treaty with the Palestinians," he added. The former defense minister added that Israel faces great security challenges. The 70-year-old Barak, who served as Israel’s 14th chief of staff and has a 36-year military career, announced in late November 2012 that he is retiring from politics. Barak, known as a leading strategist in the Tel Aviv regime, has been a regular visitor to the US Department of Defense in the past years. Israel receives more than USD 3 billion from the United States in direct foreign assistance every year. It also gets USD 70 million more in military aid for its missile systems. Barak’s announcement over his plans to end his political career came only a few days after the end of the deadly Israeli war on Gaza in November 2012. Over 160 Palestinians, including many women and children, were killed and about 1,200 others were injured in the Israeli attacks between November 14 and 21. In retaliation, the Palestinian resistance fighters fired rockets and missiles into Israeli cities, killing at least five Israelis.