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Barak Does a ‘Peres,’ Advocates Labor Joining Rightist Coalition

Ehud Barak, leader, for the time being, of the Labor Party, told Israel’s Channel 2 that he was in favor of joining forces with Avigdor Lieberman in Bibi Netanyahu’s new government.  He must be delusional to claim that other Labor MKs agree with him and want to abandon moral and political principles to jump into bed with a ranting racist (Lieberman) and right-wing Friedmanite supply-sider (Netanyahu):

…Barak said on Friday he was willing to join a government led by prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu of the right-wing Likud party.

Most of the people and members of the Labour party demand the formation of a broad government of national unity“…

The Israeli media has already bruited the possibility that Barak will jump ship to become defense minister in the new government and bolt from Labor. This is a distinct possibility.

He seems to be playing a game of chicken with the Party believing he is so integral to its existence that a threat to leave it in the dust to join the government would force other MKs to go along with him. This too seems delusional thinking on his part. Though his desertion of the Party would be yet another blow and endanger its long-term viability. But Barak’s staying with the Party and going into Opposition would merely slow a general deterioration of Labor’s prospects. Really, it matters little what Barak does.

Clearly, like the old Shimon Peres who led Labor into endless national unity governments, thereby running the Party’s credibility into the ground with the liberal-left electorate, Barak is only in it for himself. The idea of “Party” seems a quaint notion of yesteryear. It’s every ex-general for himself in this dog-eat-dog political world. Principle? Whoever heard of that?

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Richard Witty March 8, 2009, 6:12 AM

    Labor doesn’t have a defining concept, agenda or even clear association anymore.

    The party is functionally dead. Its only voice is as an inconsistent “speed limiter”. (Inconsistent in the sense that it alternately supports conciliation and war, also in other domestic policy ways that I’ve read less of. It is more distinct in domestic policy from Likud’s free market orientation.)

    The tragedy is that there is no liberal Zionist party remaining. No Meretz, no greens, nobody.

  • Richard Witty March 8, 2009, 8:00 AM

    I found this disturbing. Do you?


    Iran TV: We’ve test-fired new long-range missile
    By Barak Ravid, Haaretz Correspondent and Reuters
    Tags: Israel News, Iran

    Iran has test fired a new long-range missile, the state Press TV reported on Sunday.

    Iran often stages war games or tests weapons to show its determination to counter any attack by foes including Israel and the United States, which accuse the Islamic Republic of seeking to develop nuclear bombs. Tehran denies the charge.

  • Arie Brand March 8, 2009, 1:17 PM

    Meanwhile we know that Netanyahu is no longer interested in doing a deal with Barak.

    As far as Lieberman is concerned: an op-ed in the Jerusalem Post said this morning that well, yes, as Foreign Minister he might not be very welcome in West European capitals but then, on the other hand, he could concentrate on the former Russian republics and Russia itself.

    And, says the editorialist, with Western Europe things might not be as bad as all that. They got accustomed to Sharon as well, though he had a pretty rough image to start with.

    Yes, but things have changed. Israel’s overall image has deteriorated since Sharon first became prominent.

    What the Jerusalem Post did not mention in great detail was the protest demonstration in Swedish Malmo yesterday when the Sweden-Israel Davis Cup match was played. The Australian ABC mentioned that about seven thousand people participated. The BBC talks about “thousands” but the Post mainly mentioned the few hundred rock throwers.

  • noam March 8, 2009, 1:39 PM

    I think Netanyahu still wants Labor in, but he understand now what everybody knew on the first day after the election: that he can only get Barak on his own, not the party. so he stops asking.

    about the anti-israeli sentiment in Europe, it is sad to say that the only thing that matters is the WH, and we had mixed signals from there.

  • Richard Witty March 8, 2009, 7:04 PM

    Its definitely a bad time for any prospect of a humane solution.

  • Richard Witty March 9, 2009, 5:05 AM

    No one found the prospect that Iran has a missile capable of reaching Israel, and announced quantity of enriched uranium sufficient for a nuclear bomb, disturbing?

    • gloopygal March 10, 2009, 5:23 AM

      Iran won’t use the bomb unless it’s attacked. I believe it’s just a deterrent. Israel has more nukes than anyone barring Russia and the US, nobody’s going to attack it.

  • B.BarNavi March 12, 2009, 8:26 AM

    Labor is a joke, but if their joining of the coalition can keep Liberman out, I’m all for it.

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