“I use ‘disruptive’ in both its good and bad connotations. Disruptive scientific and technological progress is not to me inherently good or inherently evil. But its arc is for us to shape. Technology’s progress is furthermore in my judgment unstoppable. But it is quite incorrect that it unfolds inexorably according to its own internal logic and the laws of nature.”
During his tenure, Israel’s 10th Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, led the country out of prolonged recession and into an economic boom, with 5.9% annual growth, record foreign investments, near-zero inflation, a halved deficit, and substantially decreased external debt.
However, the core of the Barak government’s effort was devoted to the peace process: in May 2000, Prime Minister Barak ordered the withdrawal of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) from South Lebanon, ending 18 years of Israeli presence there. He led far-reaching efforts to negotiate peace agreements, first with Syria and later with the Palestinian Authority, with the active participation of President Bill Clinton and his administration. Regrettably, these negotiations did not result in the breakthroughs necessary to conclude final agreements.
Before being elected Prime Minister, Barak completed an illustrious 36-year career in the IDF as the most decorated soldier in its history. He led dozens of still-secret operations and a number of legendary commando raids, including those that freed hostages from a hijacked Sabena airliner in 1972, targeted PLO terrorist leaders in Beirut in 1973, and rescued hostages aboard an Air France jet hijacked to Entebbe Airport in Uganda in 1976.
As Chief of the General Staff of the IDF, he helped negotiate and implement the 1994 peace treaty with Jordan. He also served Israel as Minister of the Interior, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Defense Minister until 2013.
Barak received his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Physics from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and his M.S.C. in Economic Engineering Systems at Stanford University in California. An avid reader, science aficionado, and pianist, Barak is today working on various business investments, giving speeches, and writing his autobiography.Last Updated: May 16, 2017, 12:53pm