(June 26, 2019 / JNS) Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak announced on Wednesday the formation of a new party in an effort to unseat the current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, whom he called “corrupt and messianic,” and declared that his “time as a political leader is over.”
“These are dark days the likes of which we have never known,” proclaimed Barak, also the former chairman of the Labor Party, at a press conference. “We are not blind. The last elections were advanced solely to disrupt the legal proceedings that are encroaching on Netanyahu. … This regime of Netanyahu’s must be toppled, not saved.”
Barak also served as defense minister from 2007 to 2013 under former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and stayed on when Netanyahu took office in 2009.
The 77-year-old announced his comeback as Netanyahu is considering canceling the Sept. 17 elections, his spokesperson said on Tuesday.
The development came after Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein sought a “substantial” initiative to nix the upcoming national decision through Knesset legislation, reported Israel’s Channel 12.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu treats Knesset Speaker Edelstein with respect, and he will consider his proposal in the days ahead,” said Netanyahu spokesperson Yonathan Urich.
“The public does not want to go to elections, and the Knesset’s job is to represent the public,” said Edelstein. “Going to an election when it could be canceled is going against the public.”
Israel’s KAN reported that prior to the Knesset dissolving last month, Netanyahu proposed a rotation of the premiership to Blue and White leader Benny Gantz if his party joins the coalition.
Blue and White rejected the offer, confident that it will win the next round of voting.
“Netanyahu understands that he will lose the election, so he is looking for magic solutions,” said a Blue and White spokesperson.
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