Chaim Bar-Lev

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Chaim "Kidoni" Bar-Lev (16 de noviembre de 1924 - 7 de mayo de 1994) fue un militar israelí.

Nacido con el nombre de Haim Brotzlewsky en Viena, Austria en 1924. Entre 1942 y 1948, Bar-Lev sirvió en varias unidades de Defensa Judía (tales como el Palmaj durante el Mandato británico de Palestina). Fue piloto y paracaidista, lo que le serviría más adelante para desarrollar en ambas ramas militares a los jóvenes de las Fuerzas de Defensa de Israel.

En 1946 Bar-Lev envió comandos paracaidistas al Puente de Allenby, cerca de Jericó, para evitar que las milicias árabes de Transjordania penetrasen en ciudades judías al oeste del río Jordán.

En la Guerra de los Seis Días (junio de 1967) sirvió como Comandante en Jefe de las FDI. En 1968 aceptó comandar la creación de una duna de arena de gran altura que se construyó a lo largo del lado oriental del Canal de Suez para evitar que los militares egipcios observen las defensas israelíes a lo largo del Canal de Suez. Detrás de la duna de arena, una línea de fortificaciones fijas fue construida. Ésta fue conocida como la Línea Bar-Lev.

Entre 1968 y 1971, Bar-Lev sirvió a las FDI como General en Jefe de las FDI.

Durante la Guerra de Yom Kippur (octubre de 1973), aunque estuvo retirado del ejército sirviendo como Ministro de Comercio e Industria de Israel, la Primera Ministro Golda Meir lo llamó y lo reiserto nuevamente dentro de servicio militar para substituir a Shmuel “Gorodish” Gonen como jefe del comando meridional, que defendió el Sinaí.

Bar-Lev jugó un rol fundamental en la guerra. Antes de su llegada, el frente sur era un desastre, al punto de quedar muy cerca del colapso total, y Gonen estaba demostrando ser incapaz de tomar de manera efectiva el control de la situación. Bar-Lev immediately took charge and worked towards stabilizing the front. His political and negotiating skills also proved instrumental in controlling his field generals who were feuding amongst themselves since each had their own notions, sometimes competing ones, regarding how the war in the South should be carried out. The effect that Bar-Lev's arrival had on the chaotic Southern command headquarters was described by Gorodish's deputy, Uri Ben-Ari, in tesimony (translated from Hebrew) to the Israeli military's historical department:

Bar-Lev brought calmness on all of us. Finally there was a feeling that we had a real commander in charge. This feeling spread between us and later also in the battlefield radios like fire. Bar-Lev also managed to calm Gorodish down. Prior to his arrival, general staff meetings were one loud shout out of Gorodish's mouth. Bar Lev instituted orderly working routines. No one challenged his authority. The country owes much to him. "Dovaleh" went back to being a real war-room, a departmentalized one. No one [who did not belong there] was allowed entry. Serenity descended on the war room. The general staff officers switched to carrying out their tasks in well organized shifts. Even Arik [Sharon’s] tone of voice changed when Bar Lev arrived.

Once the front was stablized Bar-Lev directed Maj.Gen. Adan to go on the offensive and initiate Adan's plan for an invasion across the Suez Canal into Egyptian territory just north of the Great Bitter Lake. It was General Ariel Sharón who then undertook the successful "invasion of Egypt" when leading the Israeli army onto Áfrican soil for the first time in history and by doing so, completely encircled the entire Egyptian Third Army whose fate was now entirely in Israel's hands, a fact which accelerated the Arabs' request for a cease-fire.

Bar-Lev remained Minister of Trade and Industry until the Labour government was defeated and replaced by the Likud under the leadership of Menachem Begin in 1977. From 1977 to 1984 he served as General Secretary of the party and as a Member of the Knesset. When the Israeli Labor Party formed a national unity government from 1984 to 1990 Bar-Lev served as Minister of Police and as a member of the "inner cabinet." He retired from the Knesset at the time of the 1992 elections. Between 1992-1994, during the second Rabin government Bar-Lev served in Moscú as Israel's Ambassador to Rusia.

Falleció en Tel Aviv el 7 de mayo de 1994.

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Predecesor:
Yitzhak Rabin
Comandante de las Fuerzas de Defensa de Israel
1968 - 1972
Sucesor:
David Elazar