Barak warns of escalation with Iran

Former PM: We are closer to a regional confrontation with Iran. I worry about what the Israeli cabinet would do if that happens.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak
Flash 90

Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak warned on Friday against an escalation between Iran and the US and also took advantage of the opportunity to take a jab at Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his government.

"The cabinet that convenes and may convene, God forbid, in the event of an escalation in the Iranian sector, with people who were not there, and where there is an inciting prime minister, I fear that," Barak told Channel 12 News in an interview. "While Netanyahu has a natural inclination not to enter into adventures, when he is backed up by Ohana, Regev or Smotrich, I admit that I am troubled. We once heard from Netanyahu what happens to a prime minister who has to run a state, what considerations are taken into account when he is under investigations. When his advisers are Smotrich and Peretz, I'm not calm."

Barak warned, "We are closer to a regional confrontation with Iran today. Something happened here that will lead to additional campaigns, and every campaign contains the risk that next time it will get out of hand. Iranian responses can reach us through Hezbollah, Hamas and the Golan Heights. It requires preparation, thought, understanding and preparation for all possibilities."

As for the question of whether he will run in the elections this coming September, Barak said, "I'm talking to everyone. The thing is, I'm looking at whether I and people like me can bring about a union within the center-left that will prevent what happened last time, and that means that Blue and White will also be a part of the union. Huge energy was wasted within the bloc instead of the bloc getting the State of Israel back on track, instead of the state being held hostage by corrupt people led by Netanyahu."

According to the former prime minister, the central question in the center-left is "not who will agree to sit in a national unity government with Netanyahu, Sa'ar or Katz, but who can lead the bloc to victory in order put the country back on track. I have not yet declared that I am entering [the race], we warned in advance that if you do not understand that the main thing is the bloc and not the party, the elections will be over...This was not understood. I wish Blue and White and all the other parties all the best, but you have to join hands."

As for the possibility of running for the leadership of the Labor Party, Barak, who had been contemplating the idea, said he came to the conclusion that it would not be the correct move.

"I like Itzik Shmuli and Stav Shafir and Amir Peretz, but I must not turn the spotlight too much to one of the candidates. I believe that whoever wins will be open to agreements [with other parties]," he said.

"I had more than one offer to head the Labor Party," Barak continued, "but I came to the conclusion that it was not right to run for the party leadership. I decided that I should examine the possibility of establishing a party like we did 20 years ago, that we do not want to waste energy on one another."

Barak further stated that if the center-left bloc will ultimately form the next government “and I can continue with my cyber and cannabis business, I will go for it. You get older and you understand that there are other talented people who can do it."

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)