Enemy of my enemy? Ex-Generals, Netanyahu critics and political opposites Barak and Ya'alon meet

Both men have attacked PM Netanyahu in recent weeks, with Ya'alon promising a return to front-line politics in time for the next election.

August 1, 2016 06:18
1 minute read.
Then-chief of staff Moshe Yaalon is seen aboard a Black Hawk helicopter in 2004

Then-chief of staff Moshe Yaalon is seen aboard a Black Hawk helicopter in 2004. (photo credit: AFP PHOTO)


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Former Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak met last month with fellow former Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, Israel Radio reported Sunday.

Ya'alon has been meeting politicians and security figures from across the political spectrum since he quit the Defense Ministry in May. Despite aiming towards making a political comeback, his associates have said there would be no political cooperation with Barak.

"Barak is a man of the left, Ya'alon is proud to be on the right and they have very little ideologically in common," a source close to Ya'alon said.

Barak's associates also downplayed the meeting, saying simply that the former premier meets with serious people, and that Ya'alon is a serious man.

Although they may differ politically, both men had glittering military careers before transitioning to politics; serving in the elite Sayeret Matkal unit among other roles, although not at the same time. Barak served as Chief of Staff from 1991 to 1995, while Ya'alon followed suit a decade later, holding the title between 2002 and 2005.

Last week Barak heavily criticized the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he was interviewed on CNN. Barak, who replaced Netanyahu after the latter's first term as prime minister in1999, predicted that Israel is headed towards a one-state solution.

Netanyahu's government has “drifted into a mindset of pessimism, passivity, fear and victimhood,” which is leading Israel toward a bleak future, he said.

Explaining his fears, Barak argued that if Israel cannot arrive at an equitable solution with the Palestinians, the country “will end up with one state from the Mediterranean to the River Jordan, with millions of Palestinians within it, which will make it inevitably either non-Jewish or nondemocratic.”

Ya'alon himself has also panned Netanyahu since leaving the cabinet and resigning from the Knesset, saying that Israel faces no existential threats, and that what keeps him awake at night are social and moral problems facing the country.

Since his temporary departure from the political front-line, Ya'alon has joined the Institute for National Security Studies think tank in Tel Aviv, and he intends to become a vising fellow at the Washington Institute in Washington DC this coming September.

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