Olmert: Barak begged to join Kadima

Former prime minister is writing a book in which he calls the defense minister "disappointing."

Ehud Olmert 311 (photo credit: Pool/Yediot Aharonot)
Ehud Olmert 311
(photo credit: Pool/Yediot Aharonot)
Former prime minister Ehud Olmert fiercely attacked Defense Minister Ehud Barak in a book that he is writing, portions of which were revealed to The Jerusalem Post on Thursday night.
Olmert is still angry at Barak, whose May 2008 press conference in which he demanded Olmert’s resignation due to corruption allegations led to the apparent end of his political career.
“Barak begged me to put him on Kadima’s Knesset list in 2006,” Olmert wrote, according to a source who has seen the book. “He was even willing to be number 21 on the list.”
Olmert also revealed in the book that when he was forming his government, Barak begged him to appoint him defense minister instead of then-Labor leader Amir Peretz, even though Barak was not in politics at the time.
Quotes from the book were published Thursday in Yediot Aharonot, whose publishing house is publishing it.
According to the newspaper, Olmert called Barak “a disappointing defense minister,” “an obsessive talker,” “insulting, blunt, and rude,” and “lacking decision- making capability.”
Olmert also said Barak made recommendations on sensitive issues that were irresponsible and accused him of falling asleep in meetings.
A source close to Barak responded by saying that the defense minister “pitied Olmert” because of the multiple corruption charges he is facing and saw his criticism and frustration in that context.