'Barak wants to remind us of his existence'

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin isn't impressed by former Defense Minister's opposition to aid agreement.

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Ido Ben Porat,

Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak
Flash 90

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin (Likud) attacked former Defense Minister Ehud Barak (Labor) this morning (Friday), after Barak criticized the US-Israel aid agreement.

Barak published an article in the "Washington Post," claiming that Netanyahu, "irresponsibly harmed [Israel's] relationship with the White House - and this damage is obvious [when you see] the aid agreement."

Barak also claimed that the agreed-upon sum of 3.8 billion dollars per year, for the next ten years, is too low.

According to Levin, "They threatened us and told us, the entire time, how awful what Binyamin Netanyahu was doing for the United States, and how terrible our relationship is. When it became clear that these claims were unfounded, all that was left was the tongue-lashing. I think that this is neither professional nor honorable."

"I believe that, even in his own camp, no one takes Barak's claims seriously," Levin said. "Ehud Barak wants us to remember that he exists, and that [desire] is where his laughable and irresponsible statements are coming from," Levin added on the Army Radio.

However, the head of the Institute for National Security Studies, reserve major-general Amos Yadlin, justified Barak's criticism, because of the agreement's clause forbidding Israel from requesting addition aid from the American Congress.

"According to the agreement, the Prime Minister is forbidden to ask for any additional aid from Congress. The American government has managed to harm three birds with one bullet: AIPAC, Congress, and PM Netanyahu."

"We could have received a better aid agreement. Netanyahu gave an unnecessary speech in Congress, and we are paying the price," Yadlin said. "Barak is right. This aid agreement is much less than the previous one, it's 100 million dollars less."