Segment #7: Handling Domestic Challenges – 153-178


This chapter (12) presents a profile of Barak's poor handling of internal issues such as public health (the 'disabled crisis'), the conscription of ultra-orthodox Jews to the IDF and other challenges. In this context Greenberg is, once more, presented as a consistent advisor, maintaining his critique from as early as three months following the elections, that there is great importance in how Barak deals with the internal challenges, since these are perceived as acute by the public.


"On May 20th, a few days prior to the disengagement from Lebanon, Greenberg reaffirms his early insights: "The worst finding is the one indicating that Barak is losing the support of the secular left. Only 15 percent of his voters agree to a compromise [with Shas; J.A] aimed at consolidating the coalition, an imperative step to achieve peace. Fifty-six percent believe a compromise with Shas is wrong and should be avoided even at the price of re- election". [These findings were supported by Daphna Goldberg's channel as well].

[Following the lengthy battle of the disabled public, and its poor handling by the government, Greenberg reiterates his latest conclusion]

"Based on seven various focus groups, Greenberg arrived at the following conclusion: "The Israeli public visualizes Barak as the Head of the Mossad. Discreet, indifferent to people's suffering, behaving as a military general. The public feels Barak is mysterious; he's hiding something from the public. The most common response to Barak reflects a feeling of neglect and alienation" [using the common Hebrew expression: 'he doesn't see me from a meter way']".

[Drucker claims Barak disregarded these findings yet again, feeling that both the media and the public are quick to judge, and as time will progress, the achievements of his cabinet and government will make the critique subside].

"In a periodical report dated March 2000, Greenberg mentions that the focus on external issues and the neglect of the interior affairs erodes Barak's public support: "Barak's Government will fail, unless it will succeed in conveying the message that it has put the social parameters at the top of its agenda, and will present the public with concrete achievements in these fields. We found that the public is attracted to the solution of the Palestinian problem is closely linked with the public will to change the agenda and bring about a substantial change in the internal issues. The improvements of the economy will not gain Barak more support, unless it is shown to be consequential of the government's internal decisions, showing empathy to the public. As we are well aware, this is not the case, Barak is perceived as an empathic leader by a mere third of the population. More than 60% feel that Barak is neglecting internal affairs.

After Barak's 'flip-flop' maneuver concerning the conscription of the ultra- orthodox youth, and his analysis that by an apology to the public, this whole fiasco will subside, Greenberg confronted him bluntly saying: "That won't work. Conscription is a core issue, once you deceive the public, it no longer believes you".