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Ehud Barak to JNS: Anti-gov’t protests meant to bring elections

In February, the former PM called on the public to “besiege” parliament to force an early vote.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak speaks during a protest against judicial reform in Tel Aviv, June 24, 2023. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak speaks during a protest against judicial reform in Tel Aviv, June 24, 2023. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90.

Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak said on Tuesday night that his goal was to use mass protests as a pressure lever to bring about early elections to replace the Netanyahu government.

“My message is elections now,” Barak, one of the main speakers at an anti-government rally outside the Knesset, told JNS.

“These demonstrations are to protest what is happening with the hostages, the draft law which the government is trying to pass [regarding ultra-Orthodox conscription] and the Knesset which instead of working when we have people [held captive] in Gaza is [going to recess],” he added.

In February, Barak called on the public to “besiege” the parliament in an ultimate attempt to force elections, bring down Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and implement a two-state solution, which includes a Palestinian state.

The former premier told Army Radio that “30,000 citizens need to camp outside the Knesset in tents for three weeks, day and night,” until “the country shuts down [and] Netanyahu realizes that his time is up.”

Barak laid out his renewed plans to oust Netanyahu, calling for demonstrators to “separate from the [anti-judicial reform] protest movement” and saying that the movement “must not wait” until after the war with Hamas.

Earlier last year, Barak revealed his strategy for a “counter-revolution” to bring down the government.

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