Republicans and Democrats slam Barak over choice of new party's name

Barak responded to critics, who said that the name is unfit for a party that is not democratic, by saying his party’s institutions would be ready for the next election following the upcoming one.

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July 8, 2019 02:20
1 minute read.
Republicans and Democrats slam Barak over choice of new party's name

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak gestures after delivering a statement in Tel Aviv, Israel June 26, 2019. (photo credit: CORINNA KERN/REUTERS)

Former prime minister Ehud Barak found himself involved in the hyper-polarization of American politics on Sunday, when the name he chose for his new political party faced criticism in the US from both sides of the aisle.

A day after Democrats Abroad Israel chairwoman Heather Stone said that Barak’s calling his new party the “Israeli Democratic Party” was “misleading,” the co-chairmen of Republicans Overseas Israel (ROI) also criticized the choice.

“Why Ehud Barak would want to name his new party after this bunch of losers is beyond me,” Marc Zell wrote on Twitter. “I can’t figure out why Barak would want to identify with a party that has gone off the rails, especially when it concerns Israel and the Jewish People.”


Zell expressed hope that “the Israeli party will have more common sense than its American namesake.” But then Zell walked back the criticism.

“To be clear the GOP/ROI didn’t criticize the name,” he tweeted. “We merely thought it odd that a fledgling Israeli party would choose a name associated with a growing wave of anti-Israel & anti-Semitic sentiment. It’s the Dems who are upset.”

ROI co-chairman Kory Bardash said that he did not think Barak intended to connect his party to its American namesake.

“He just translated poorly from Twitter,” Bardash said.

Barak responded on KAN radio to critics who said that the name is unfit for a party that is not democratic by saying his party’s institutions would be ready for the next election after the one in September.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted to Barak’s party name saying that the Israeli media was giving too much attention to “a fringe candidate who had no chance.”

Blue and White No. 2 Yair Lapid responded to Barak’s choice by quoting from Shakespeare: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet.”


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