Barak Wrap-Up: “We should deal with terrorists the same way our forefathers dealt with pirates on the high seas,” said former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in a speech today at Dartmouth, by way of explaining his support for the Bush Doctrine against terrorism.

Barak began with general observations about the war on terrorism, which he believes will go on for some time. September 11th marked a turning point, according to Barak, after which “nothing about terror can ever be taken for granted or regarded as unthinkable.” The West faces a choice, then, to “destroy world terror or be destroyed by it.” For the sake of liberty and sustained economic growth, said Barak, we must fight and not allow terrorism to become a viable political tool. To this end, he forwards Jeffersonian “eternal vigilence,” such as worldwide collaboration on immigration and money laundering policies. The Western world, he believes, has a lot to learn from Israel in resisting the specific threats of terrorism.

To combat such threats, Barak championed greater government surveillance of suspected terrorists, while cautioning that this must be balanced with liberties. In the end, though, some restrictions may be “the cheaper price to pay,” he said, drawing on his own experiences with the casualties of terrorism in Israel.

Barak spoke at length on the current Middle East situation, maintaining that Israel “is under a violent terror campaign” guided by Yasser Arafat. He noted the Clinton peace plan, which Arafat rejected outright, as evidence of Arafat’s desire for “a Palestinian state instead of Israel,” rather than in addition to Israel. He waits eagerly, he said, for “more responsible leadership to emerge” among the Palestinians.

Israel, he said, must undertake three simultaneous strategies to win its struggle on terms that it, the world, and the Palestinian people accept. First, it must maintain “an active struggle against terror..not against the Palestinian people,” an objective which he believes is largely being met. Second, Israel should “make it clear that the door is open for resumption of negotiations. And, finally, Israel must maintain that these negotiations be on similar terms to those undertaken before the latest uprising, to make it clear that terrorism is not a fruitful means of diplomacy. Also, he suggested that Israel undertake greater efforts to secure its borders, constructing a “security fence” like that at Gaza.

Barak concluded by justifying the war on terror, of which Israel’s struggles are a part, as part of a larger effort to “achieve the great world imperative of social justice.” Only when security and stability are assured, he said, will prosperity be possible.

Barak spent the day speaking with groups of Dartmouth students, whom he described as “highly assertive” and often “adversarial,” and in classes. The four audience members (three of them students) who asked questions of Barak following his speech were hostile in tone.

A protest against Barak’s visit was held in front of the Hopkins Center and featured a large banner reading “Ending Violence = Ending Occupation.” This reporter was physically grabbed by protest organizer Hillary Miller ’02, who challenged him to get a restraining order against her before claiming she was simply “try to engage in a dialogue.” She suggested that The Dartmouth Review “run a photo spread” of her in an upcoming issue.