Photo Credit: Ehud Barak via Twitter screen grab
Ehud Barak's new political party campaign poster for "Democratic Israel' 2019

Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak’ has announced the name of his new political party, “Democratic Israel” and says he will be the one to bring back “hope and courage” to Israel.

According to a report broadcast this weekend by Israel’s Channel 12 news, a billboard campaign is to be launched Sunday using the slogan, “State of Netanyahu or the State of Israel?”

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Last week Barak vowed during the launch of his new party that he would defeat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the upcoming national elections on September 17.

“The State of Israel is at a moment before the total dissolution of Israeli democracy,” Barak tweeted in his announcement Saturday. “Now is the time to return hope and courage to Israel, to unite and return Israel to the right track. We are a Democratic Israel.”

After defeating Netanyahu to become Labor prime minister from 1999 to 2001, Barak made good on a campaign promise to end the 22-year-long IDF presence in southern Lebanon within a year – a presence which had secured Israel’s northern border and which prevented Iran’s proxy group, Hezbollah, from entering the area.

Barak pulled Israeli troops from southern Lebanon in May, 2000 and on October 7, 2000 three IDF soldiers were killed and their bodies stolen in a border raid by Hezbollah.

Barak also tried to make a peace deal with the Palestine Liberation Organization, then headed by Yasser Arafat, but despite all the concessions he was willing to give, the effort failed.

In 2014, U.S. President Bill Clinton revealed during an address at Georgetown University in Washington DC that the negotiations which took place at the 2000 Camp David Summit did not succeed because Arafat simply refused to agree to any deal at all.

Clinton said Barak agreed to hand over control of the Temple Mount to Arafat. He also agreed to give up 96 percent of Judea and Samaria, but ”the “Palestinians under Arafat . . . never said yes.”

And now Barak says he wants to lead Israel again.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.