Olmert reads statement 311.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Defense Minister Ehud Barak will be able to prevent the publication of portions
of former prime minister Ehud Olmert’s book that attacks him, because he serves
on a censorship committee, political officials confirmed on
Olmert faced criticism for his speech on Sunday night in which he
accused Barak of trying to undermine military operations, in what was seen as a
reference to an alleged IAF strike on a Syrian nuclear installation in September
Sources close to Barak pointed out that when Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu spoke openly about the operation in an interview with Channel
1, Kadima MKs accused him of revealing military secrets.
spokesman Ya’acov Galantee said he spoke to the military censor, who said there
was nothing problematic with what he said.
Barak’s associates continued
to deny Olmert’s allegations that he had begged to join Kadima. But Olmert’s
former secretary Shula Zaken told reporters who saw her in court that she had
organized the meetings and what Olmert said was true.
Former aides to
former prime minister Ariel Sharon also confirmed that Barak had begged him to
let him join Kadima.
But they said Barak’s nemesis, Haim Ramon, persuaded
Sharon not to take him.
“Barak sent messengers to Arik when Kadima was
formed asking to join unconditionally,” a former Sharon aide said.
did not ask for a portfolio or a particular place on the [Knesset candidates]
list as long as he would be in.
“But Ramon warned Sharon that Barak would
undermine him, and Sharon believed him.”
Sources close to Barak accused
Olmert of “trying to rewrite history due to his shame and
Barak’s associates tried unsuccessfully to get Labor
cabinet ministers to defend Barak, but they declined to do so because of their
closeness to Olmert.
The only Labor official to defend Barak was Labor
Party director-general Weizmann Shiri.
“Olmert is clearly attacking now
because his advisers told him to distract the public from his trial,” Shiri
said. “He is a political hack who ended his career as a criminal. His entire
life has been manipulations.
What he says is delusional.”
Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Tzahi Hanegbi (Kadima) was the
only MK who defended Barak from Olmert’s criticism, saying that Israelis could
sleep soundly with Barak as defense minister and that the dispute between the
two Ehuds did not harm the country’s security.
“The relations between the
two were very bad and I had to bridge the gaps between the two on multiple
occasions,” Hanegbi told Army Radio.
“Looking back on the time that
Olmert and Barak worked together, decisions were made in the most
and statesmanlike manner and the tension between them did not harm their
National Union MK Arye Eldad wrote to Attorney-General Yehuda
Weinstein on Monday, asking him to expedite his investigation of Barak’s
transfer of his companies to his daughter.
“That way, Barak and Olmert
could settle their differences when they share the same jail cell,”
Former Kadima MK Menahem Ben-Sasson reacted on Monday to Olmert’s
statement in his book that Barak had asked to be placed 20th on the
candidates list, a slot that Olmert gave to Ben-Sasson, who is currently
president of the Hebrew University.
“I am sure that [Barak and I] are
both satisfied with our lot, and that is the key to our public service,”