Q&A: Barak on Lebanon Crisis - Newsweek Mideast Crisis - MSNBC.com: "Some Israeli hawks accuse you of 'escapism' for withdrawing from Lebanon in 2000. How would you respond to those critics?
It's ridiculous. It's distorted logic. Only our pullout from Lebanon put an end to the tragedy that took place there for two decades. Only because I pulled out from Lebanon to the last inch [does] Israel occupy the moral high ground, and can now enjoy the international legitimacy for its responses. When we entered Lebanon...there was no Hizbullah. We were accepted with perfumed rice and flowers by the Shia in the south. It was our presence there that created Hizbullah."