A week ago, former Prime Minister Ehud Barak took to the podium at a V15-affiliated Darkenu conference and blamed current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of everything that’s gone wrong in Israel since the onset of Zionist settlement circa 1878, and then accused Netanyahu of “another incident” that showed a “worrying mix of an inability to judge deep security interests” regarding “cooperation with the United States,” with “careless operational behavior” that has caused “most worrisome exposure of Israel to a major security challenge.”
Israeli media and political experts spent the past week trying to figure out what in God’s good name Bibi’s former defense minister was talking about. Barak, meanwhile, refused an offer by Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee MK Avi Dichter (Likud)—whom Barak appointed head of Shabbak years ago—and wouldn’t share what ghastly national security failure of Netanyahu’s he had in mind. And so Barak, without a care in the world, went back to his private businesses, of which he has many at home and abroad, satisfied that the world still remembers his name.
Much like MK Dichter, Education Minister and Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett also decided to check up on Barak’s nebulous accusations. And so, Ma’ariv reported Friday, he went and talked to people in the know and reached the conclusion that it was absolutely nothing. “Nada, simply a Barak invention, there’s no security story here,” Bennett told his close circle of friends and advisors.
And to put his political capital where his mouth is, Bennett suggested Barak be summoned to a hearing before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee — a move committee chairman Dichter might still consider.
While all this fiendish dancing in his honor was going on, Netanyahu found time to meet twice with Zionist Camp chairman Isaac “Buji” Herzog, according to a Channel 2 News report, once on Monday and another time on Thursday last week, in Caesarea, in the home across the street from the Netanyahus’ villa, where movie mogul Leon Edery (movie mogul Moshe Edery’s brother) resides. Each meeting lasted two hours, and was devoted to the topic of Buji joining Bibi’s coalition after Bibi fires his Habayit Hayehudi ministers Bennett, Shaked and Ariel.
Herzog denied the news with all his might, but only managed to convince two of his closest party loyalists. Everyone else was stunned to hear their leader was back for more humiliation, after having been treated like a dog (Labour MK Shelly Yachimovich’s choice of metaphor) by Bibi only to leverage Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) into joining the government.
Yachimovich, who lost two leadership bids to Herzog, tweeted bitterly that she lives in the wrong city, she should move to Caesarea where all the goodies seem to be given away. She and many in Labor are seriously worried now that their hapless leader, who has just won himself an extra year at the party’s helm without an election, might be plotting a Barak move, which he would justify in the name of peace and brotherhood and his party members would probably give it its rightful name: treason.
A Barak refers to the betrayal by Labor chairman Ehud Barak, whose party suffered one of its worst defeats back in 2009, dropping from 19 to 13 seats and becoming, for the first time in its history, the fourth largest Knesset faction. Barak declared that the will of the voter was for Labor to remain in the opposition that term, then he went and struck a deal with the new prime minister, Netanyahu, who made him his defense minister. This did not go so well with the rest of the party, and so in early January 2011, Barak and four other Labor MKs left their Knesset faction and created a new party, Atzmaut. Those four MKs, whom no one remembers, paid with their political lives for Barak’s additional time in government. Before the 2013 elections Barak decided he had had enough of politics and closed down his new party.