Barak: Labor will never leave Netanyahu coalition

“The Labor faction is a gang of 13 people who have barely any connection,” says MK Daniel Ben-Simon.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
May 25, 2010 06:14
2 minute read.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

ehud barak 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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The Labor Party will not bring down Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government regardless of whether the peace process progresses, Labor chairman Ehud Barak hinted in an interview with Israel Radio Monday morning.

Barak was asked in the interview whether he would still be defense minister next year and about recent statements by Labor Party ministers Isaac Herzog and Avishay Braverman that Labor should leave the government in September if West Bank construction resumes and the peace process does not make substantial progress.

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“I intend to remain defense minister until the end of the government’s term, and then we will see what the voters say,” Barak said.

Barak’s statement angered Labor MKs who believe that the party should never have joined the government. MK Daniel Ben-Simon said Barak had become Netanyahu’s slave and the other Labor MKs the prime minister’s foreign workers.

“The Labor faction is a gang of 13 people who have barely any connection,” Ben-Simon said. “Barak has no view on any issue other than security, and we are acting like a fig leaf. We are acting like a sinking ship, and we are making no effort to save it. We lost our identity, and we have become passive observers of the dangerous show passing before our eyes.”

MK Eitan Cabel said he was not surprised by Barak’s statement. He called upon Herzog and Braverman to leave the government immediately and stop waiting for the peace process to move forward or Barak to make a move.

“The chairman of the party is determined to stay no matter what,” Cabel said. “It shows his intoxication with his power.”




Barak’s spokesman responded that he always conditioned his remaining in the government on the advancement of the peace process and he had merely forgotten to mention the condition in the interview.

“Don’t look too much into what he said,” a Barak associate said. “What he meant is obvious.”

In the interview, Barak also said that Israel needed reassurance that a future West Bank agreement would not turn out to be like the situation in Lebanon or Gaza.

“We need a more solid agreement on the part of the Security Council than those which were put in place after Israel withdrew from Lebanon, and after the Second Lebanon War,” Barak said.

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