Barak: Trump should name Rice or Gates as his running mate

Former prime minister tells New York Jews Clinton would be great for Israel

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June 17, 2016 00:36
1 minute read.
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks as (L-R) his wife Melania, daughter Ivanka

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks as (L-R) his wife Melania, daughter Ivanka and Ivanka's husband Jared Kushner listen. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Presumptive Republican candidate Donald Trump should appoint former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice or former Defense Secretary Robert Gates as his running mate in the November election, former prime minister Ehud Barak said at an event with former American peace negotiator Dennis Ross at New York’s Central Synagogue Wednesday night.

Barak told the crowd of more than 800 people that such an appointment could help Trump win the election, because it could make people think differently of the businessman turned politician. He said that just like former president Bill Clinton was initially viewed unfavorably by then-Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and ended up becoming close with him, Trump could be a positive surprise.

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The former prime minister, who has worked closely with presumptive Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and her husband, said she would be great for Israel. Barak described Hillary Clinton as at least as intelligent as Bill.

Congregants at the Reform synagogue were happy that he said at the event that “Reform Judaism saved Judaism.” Barak told the crowd that it was “time to end this situation of you not being treated as equals” in the Jewish state.

“It was very important for the world to hear the important comments of former PM Ehud Barak on the importance of recognizing Reform Judaism in Israel,” said Rabbi Josh Weinberg, the president of the Association of Reform Zionists of America. “Barak’s assertion that Reform Judaism has saved Judaism and that he recognizes the important role it should have in Israel is very important and should be heard loudly.”

Barak called for reaching an agreement with the Palestinians as soon as possible, warning that if a deal is not reached, Israel could become like South Africa. He criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for not bringing his support for a Palestinian state to a vote in his cabinet.

Barak came out against the leadership of the international community for reaching the Iranian nuclear deal and Netanyahu for fighting too hard against it.

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