Ehud Barak, Israel’s defense minister, expressed alarm Tuesday at Hezbollah’s apparent growth as a threat to the Jewish state.

“Hezbollah’s strength at present is triple its strength at the end of the Second Lebanon War,” Mr. Barak told members of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. “The organization has rockets that are also capable of reaching Ashkelon, Yeruham and Dimona. They possess 42,000 rockets, as opposed to the 14,000 rockets that were in their possession on the eve of the war.”

The defense minister, who is troubled by the Iranian-supported Lebanese terror organization, said the recent maneuvers that Hezbollah carried out in southern Lebanon constituted prove that U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 was not being implemented.

Mr. Barak’s stinging criticism of No. 1701 was interpreted as a jab against Israel Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who takes pride in that resolution which ended the conflict in Lebanon during Summer 2006

He cited yet another nuclear threat to Israel, citing Pakistan’s active nuclear program. Mr. Barak called it the “ultimate nightmare of many countries in the world,” which threatened Israel.

The current instability within Pakistan, Mr. Barak warned, could directly threaten Israel.

“The situation in that country is very disturbing to any rational person in the world,” he said, noting that Pakistan had a large nuclear arsenal, surface-to-surface missiles with nuclear warheads as well as advanced American-made F-16 jets, capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

Members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee noted that General Pervez Musharraf, who governed Pakistan up until three months ago and who had cooperated with the United States, was forced to resign and has been replaced by Ali Zadari.

Some members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee worry that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, due to the instability, could find its way into al-Qaida’s hostile hands. The international Islamist terror group has many supporters in Pakistan.

Regarding Iran, Mr. Barak said it was “continuing to deceive the world and to develop energetically its nuclear program, while trying to buy time.” The defense minister underscored that Israel had not taken any option off the table with respect to the manner in which the Iranian nuclear threat would be dealt with.

While addressing the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Mr. Barak also discussed Syria and said that it was helping Hezbollah, maintained a close relationship with that organization and intervened with political processes within Lebanon.


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.