Barak returning to politics?

Former Prime Minister claims he's more qualified to lead Israel than anyone.

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Elad Benari,

Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak
Flash 90

Former Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Wednesday he is seriously considering a return to politics.

“Today I am more mature and qualified to lead the State of Israel than any candidate around,” he told Hahadashot (formerly Channel 2 News) in an interview.

Barak claimed he would be an even better leader for Israel than Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu who, he said, “is experienced - but incapable of making decisions.”

“It's not a secret that many people come to me and say to me: 'Let's go, get organized, set up something.'" I also have a poll, which I do not know who initiated, but on the question, 'If there was a direct election for prime minister and Netanyahu and Barak were candidates, who would you vote for?', I beat Netanyahu among the secular public,” he continued.

“I do not need reinforcements - I am immodest enough to notice that in terms of record, experience, international familiarity, intimate familiarity with security problems, economics, etc. I am now more mature and qualified to lead the State of Israel than any of the candidates around, including Netanyahu,” said Barak.

Barak has continuously blasted Netanyahu and his government, even though he once split the Labor party and formed the short-lived Independence party so he could continue to serve as Netanyahu's Defense Minister.

Among other things, the former prime minister recently accused the government of leading towards a reality of one state with an Arab majority.

He previously attacked Netanyahu on Twitter and called him “a deceptive and cowardly Prime Minister”, following reports that Netanyahu rejected a document about a regional peace initiative.

Wednesday's comments mark the first time that Barak has acknowledged that he's contemplating a return to politics. As recently as August, Barak said he does not intend to run for office.

A recent report indicated that Barak and Labor chairman Avi Gabbay have been in talks recently regarding Barak's return to political life and his possible inclusion in the Zionist Union’s Knesset list for the next election.

Previous reports indicated that Barak had tried – unsuccessfully – to convince other candidates withdraw from the race for the Labor leadership and support him instead.