Ehud Barak Will Quit Politics

Defense Minister Won't Run Again in Upcoming Election

Won’t Run Again: Ehud Barak, a key architect of Israel’s policies against Iran and a regular liaison to U.S. leaders, is leaving politics and will resign after the January elections.
getty images
Won’t Run Again: Ehud Barak, a key architect of Israel’s policies against Iran and a regular liaison to U.S. leaders, is leaving politics and will resign after the January elections.

By Reuters

Published November 26, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 2)

In a statement, Netanyahu said he “respects Defence Minister Ehud Barak’s decision and thanks him for his cooperation in the government and highly appreciates his long-standing contribution to the security of the state”.

The Hamas movement ruling Gaza saw Barak’s decision to quit as proof that this month’s Israeli assault on the enclave was a disaster.

“This is evidence of the political and military failure that the government of Netanyahu and his defence minister suffered,” said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum.

Israel has called its offensive a success, saying it destroyed most of Hamas’s long-range rocket arsenal and killed the Islamist group’s top militants.

IRAN STRIKE

A former commander in an elite commando unit, Barak tried unsuccessfully to make peace with both the Palestinians and Syria during his time as prime minister.

He was at the forefront of Israel’s campaign for stronger international sanctions against Iran to halt what Israeli and Western leaders fear is a drive to produce nuclear weapons, allegations Tehran denies.

He has cautioned that Tehran was nearing a “zone of immunity” that would put deeply buried and fortified nuclear facilities out of reach of Israel’s military capabilities, stoking international concern it could opt to strike Iran.

But last month, Barak told Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper that an immediate crisis was avoided when Iran chose to use more than a third of its medium-enriched uranium for civilian purposes earlier this year.

He told the paper that the decision “allows contemplating delaying the moment of truth by eight to ten months”.

Listing his achievements, Barak said he had led the defence establishment and the Israel Defence Forces through a rehabilitation after the second Lebanon war in 2006 and the building of capability to deal with the threat from Iran.

Barak’s decision to call a news conference, with only two hours’ notice, had touched off speculation he might announce the formation of a new centrist bloc to challenge Netanyahu’s frontrunning Likud in the upcoming ballot.

Former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and ex-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert have been widely touted as possible candidates to lead such a bloc. Neither has announced their intentions, with only Livni widely expected to run.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • "We must answer truthfully: Has a drop of all this bloodshed really helped bring us to a better place?”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.