Israel's Ehud Barak compares President Herzog to Nazi appeaser

Barak compared Herzog to Chamberlain, who appeased Hitler before WW2 in response to Herzog's plans for compromise on judicial reforms.

 UK's Neville Chamberlain pictured showing the Anglo-German declaration, known as Peace for our time, in this famous photograph taken 1938 (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
UK's Neville Chamberlain pictured showing the Anglo-German declaration, known as Peace for our time, in this famous photograph taken 1938
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak uploaded a picture showing President Isaac Herzog as British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain to social media on Friday. Chamberlain negotiated and talked with Hitler and the Nazis at the beginning of World War II.

Barak deleted the post a few hours later and apologized to the president for what he called "a grave error in the selection of the picture."

The original post

In the original post, Barak attacked the negotiation attempts led by President Herzog regarding the government's judicial reforms.

"Protest does not stop!", Barak wrote. "It is forbidden to negotiate without prior commitment to the Hayut-Miara conditions."

He then explained that the conditions are to stop flash legislation and to legislate only with broad agreement starting with the next Knesset.

 Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak seen during media interview in Tel Aviv on September 30, 2019 (credit: YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90) Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak seen during media interview in Tel Aviv on September 30, 2019 (credit: YOSSI ALONI/FLASH90)

"Without these conditions, it is cooperation with the D-9 [bulldozer] and Netanyahu who are acting, according to Miara, in violation of the law. And if they don't agree - declare [Netanyahu] incapable," Barak wrote.

Two photos were attached to the original post, one of President Herzog as Chamberlain and an aerial photo of one of the protests in Tel Aviv.

Barak later deleted the post and wrote: "A grave error was made in the selection of the picture in the tweet from this morning. I am very sorry for it and apologize to the president and to everyone who was hurt by it, rightfully so."

Gantz reacts

National Unity Party chairman MK Benny Gantz, responded to Barak's post and said that "former Prime Minister Barak did well to apologize for the tweet against the president of the country."

Gantz also added that "the dangerous coup d'état must be stopped with a legal and fierce protest. Those who value Israeli democracy should focus on this, and not be drawn into extreme comparisons that are out of place."

President Herzog offered his own outline for an alternative legal reform process to the government's contentious plans. The president’s negotiation outline would include a legislation freeze for 14 days and talks without preconditions with the aim of reaching a compromise.

Former PM Barak has been one of the harshest critics of PM Netanyahu and the new government. In one recent Interview, he said: “This government will go down in history as a government of darkness who ruled here for a certain period, tried to collapse the foundations of Israel as a democratic state, and in the end she failed and will bear the mark of Cain."

Michael Starr and Maariv contributed to this report.