Defense Minister Ehud Barak launched his Independence party’s election campaign
on Wednesday, hours before coalition sources confirmed the Knesset would be
dissolved next week.
Barak insisted that his party will run on its own in
the upcoming election, denying rumors he would be given a spot on the Likud
candidates list for the Knesset.
“We are running independently,” the
defense minister said. “Come with us, we put the state first in all issues:
Security, social matters, economics.
We act; we don’t just talk in
matters of human dignity, solidarity and protecting the rule of
Barak added that elections are not like reality television; they
determine the future of Israel and should be taken seriously.
his party’s generally poor showing in polls to date, the defense minister noted
that a Channel 10 poll showed a 5-percent jump in his party’s election
standings, a trend he believes will continue.
However, a poll by the
Dahaf Institute showed on Wednesday that Independence will not pass the 2%
elections threshold, as did a Jerusalem Post/Smith research poll last
Those predicting Independence’s failure should “look at Kadima two
months ago and today,” Barak said.
“Things change; there is no connection
between polls and reality.”
Asked by a reporter why the public doesn’t
trust him – Barak replied, “I have been in public life for about 15 years.
People who were around me then aren’t here anymore. [Former minister] Haim Ramon
isn’t here, [former prime minister] Ehud Olmert isn’t here, [former Kadima
leader] Tzipi Livni just left. It’s hard to be lonely, but I’m
Barak said he is sure he will have a place of influence in the
next government, and he and Independence’s MKs and ministers will be able to
contribute their experience to keeping the government responsible and
Independence ministers and MKs said that anyone who wants to
see Barak continue as defense minister should vote for his party.
see the alternatives,” Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Shalom Simhon said.
“Do we want [Foreign Minister Avigdor] Liberman or [Kadima leader Shaul] Mofaz
as defense minister, or do we want to see Barak being responsible?” “I have a
steady hand on the wheel.
I can land the plane in rough weather,” Barak
said, noting that voters should focus on who is experienced when casting their
Barak said he’s speaking from experience, “without a
teleprompter,” a dig at aspiring politician Yair Lapid. The Yesh Atid founder
used the device at a press conference Tuesday night, though teleprompters are
rarely seen in the Israeli political scene.
Independence was formed was
formed in early 2011 when Barak and four other MKs seceded from the Labor
Yonah Bob contributed to this report.