Ehud Barak returns to political life

Former PM announces he intends to stand at head of new party that will compete for left-wing vote.

Tags: Ehud Barak
Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak
Flash 90

Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak convened a press briefing Wednesday afternoon during which he announced that he will establish a new party for the oncoming elections.

"We have come here to have our say about what is happening and announce the establishment of a new party that will act for major repairs in the state and in society."

"The attempts to repeatedly disrupt democratic processes and to mislead the public and offer political bribery are a direct continuation of Netanyahu's conduct, whose goal is to divide and to undermine law and order, and everything for his personal gain, in order to escape for fear of judgement. These are dark days, the likes of which we have not seen before."

"Netanyahu acts cynically, only a few weeks after he dissolved the Knesset in order to prevent the president from passing along the mandate, after Netanyahu failed [to form a coalition]. We are not blind, the election campaign was advanced only for the sake of Netanyahu, it was advanced because the operation to rescue the suspect failed."

He added, "I have known Netanyahu for more than 50 years. I have seen him in beautiful and painful moments. Netanyahu is at the end of his path, and his closest associates, including his colleagues in the faction and the government, know this. Most of them are gripped by silence and fear. As your former commander, I say to you, Netanyahu: You cannot continue to hold the steering wheel of leadership. Your time as political leader is over."

"We decided to establish an appropriate political framework in the next few days," Barak declared. "We will mobilize the brave and work to end the Netanyahu regime, Bibi, this is the time and it is your last moment to go home of your own free will. I warn you not to try to drag a whole country into chaos to get out of jail. You will run into millions of Israelis who are not ready to play that game."

He called for the unification of forces on the Israeli left. "To those in Blue and White, my brothers in arms, those I commanded in the past, Benny, Bogie, Gabi and my good friend Yair Lapid, I tell you that our rivalry is with Netanyahu and his way. I call up everyone to whom this state is dear."

Maj. Gen. (res.) Yair Golan, who joined the party, said, "I stand here because I must. After 38 years of service, I could go to lectures in Israel and abroad and be with my family. Instead, I take upon myself this difficult journey. I feel a deep obligation to embark on this journey to repair Israeli society. Half of the people is being delegitimized."

The Likud said in response to Barak's press conference, "We are not interfering in how the left divides its mandates between Ehud Barak and Lapid and Gantz."