Ehud Barak, Former Israeli Prime Minister

This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, October 14, 2002, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.

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TERRY KEENAN, GUEST HOST: Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon comes to Washington this week. But war, not peace will be on the agenda when he meets with President Bush. The two are expected to talk about Israel's role if the U.S. attacks Iraq. Joining me now with his expert insights, former Israeli prime minister, Ehud Barak.

Mr. Barak, welcome back, good to have you with us. Mr. Sharon will be in Washington on Wednesday, what do you think he and the president are going to talk about face-to-face?

EHUD BARAK, FMR. ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: I don't know, basically the situation which is converging toward an attack on Iraq. Of course Israel will be more than happy not to become a part of it, at the same time we have to prepare ourselves, too, for the possibility that if Saddam is cornered he might try to use chemical or biological or agents against Americans or Israel.

KEENAN: And this time around, Mr. Sharon says Israel will fight back and will defend itself, do you think President Bush will take that for an answer, or is he going to try to persuade him to do otherwise?

BARAK: I believe that the president understands that if Israel is hit and severely hit by a major weapon, we won't be able to avoid a response. But at the same time, I believe that they will try to coordinate how to avoid or reduce probability that Israel will actually be hit. And of course we are much better prepared than in `91.

KEENAN: And Saddam Hussein less prepared perhaps, that his scuds may not be as effective.

BARAK: Yes. He has more biological and chemical weapons but much less means to launch them, and we are better prepared. We have our own anti-ballistic missiles. And we already vaccinated some 15,000 people in order to have enough serum a case where fully-fledged vaccination might be needed. But I hope this is not the case.

KEENAN: The terror net seems to be widening with the attack this weekend in Bali. How is that going to affect the U.S. coalition building in terms of Iraq?

BARAK: We should realize it is a piece of a wider puzzle. It is like an offshore kind of holding company with very loose connections to others. And clearly in my judgment, Iraq, being the source of potential nuclear capability, and potential source of spreading of biological and chemical terror, they should become a target.

KEENAN: Yet that message has not resonated with the much of the world, including our own allies and the other G-7 countries, do you think this attack this weekend will help that effort?

BARAK: I believe that the attack this week will help in the very painful price. But I believe that as long as America will be determined and carry on, you will see gradually other allies and potential allies ready to show up.

KEENAN: The horrible attacks in Bali over the weekend, hitting what's called a soft target, not a government agency, or even a corporation but a nightclub, something you are all too familiar with, do you think that is the next phase in this terror war?

BARAK: It's going to continue both against soft targets and hardened targets. The real objective of terror is not just to kill those who are buried later but terrorize all of us all around the world. And they will try to find the most vulnerable and exposed points in our complicated structures.

KEENAN: What advice can you give the U.S. as we now try to fight this war on all sorts of fronts which of course, right now, Israel is dealing with the Palestinian front, but you've had multi-front battles for years?

BARAK: I believe there is a need beyond the actual struggle that Americans are doing against terror and the focus on Iraq, there is a need to harness the international cooperation, coordination between Intelligence agencies, a wide world databases for immigration and naturalization and these elements that have to do with penetrating sleeper cells without any hesitation. If someone is suspected, he disk (ph) or his bank account or his telephone conversation should not be out of bounds for the law enforcement agencies.

KEENAN: Al Qaeda aside, there has been a lot of speculation that Saddam Hussein's working behind the scenes to foment all sorts of tensions with the Palestinians. Do you expect him to pull more tricks, so to speak, out of his hat if we going into Iraq?

BARAK: Of course he will try, he is the one that will be most satisfied if something happens between us and the Hezbollah on the border vis-a-vis Lebanon, or if something erupts between Israel and the Palestinians in a way that will draw the attention from him to the Israeli- Palestinian or Israeli-Arab conflict as a whole.

KEENAN: All right. Thanks for your insights as always.

BARAK: Thank you.

KEENAN: Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

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