In 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 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.
About the Author
Ehud Barak served as Israel's Prime Minister from 1999 to 2001, during which time he worked to engineer a sustainable peace between Israel and Palestine. He was the leader of the Labor Party until 2011, and Minister of Defence as well as Deputy Prime Minister in Netanyahu's second government from 2009 to 2013. Before entering politics, he was a key member of the Israeli military, occupying the position of Chief-of-Staff. Barak was born on a kibbutz in pre-state Palestine. He holds degrees in mathematics, physics, and economics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Stanford.
The life of Ehud Barak is the story of a warrior who became a statesman. My Country, My Life, an aptly titled memoir, is honest, captivating, and moving. -- Henry Kissinger A riveting memoir of war and almost-peace by Ehud Barak, one of Israel's wisest modern leaders. Barak describes his missions for Israel's toughest commando unit with the passion of a born soldier. The most poignant passages of this book describe Barak's unsuccessful struggle as prime minister to hammer out a peace deal with the PLO's Yasser Arafat-in what proved to be one of the Middle East's tragic 'near misses.' Barak's love for Israel animates every page of this book. -- David Ignatius, columnist for the Washington Post and bestselling thriller writer