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‘Barak detailed plans to bring down government three years ago’

A 2020 video reveals the ex-Israeli premier's "master plan" to take power, according to Israeli Public Diplomacy Minister Galit Distel Atbaryan.

Former prime minister Ehud Barak speaks at the Haaretz Democracy Conference in Jaffa, Nov. 9, 2021. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90.
Former prime minister Ehud Barak speaks at the Haaretz Democracy Conference in Jaffa, Nov. 9, 2021. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90.

Israel’s Public Diplomacy Minister Galit Distel Atbaryan (Likud) on Friday exposed what she claimed was the plan of former prime minister Ehud Barak to bring down the government.

In the Twitter post, the Likud lawmaker describes an interview with Barak from July 2020 on Forum 555, a group of retired pilots and navigators.

In the interview, Barak detailed his “master plan” for creating civil unrest in a future coalition, she said, such as the one currently being led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which since the start of the year has faced unrelenting opposition to its judicial reform initiative.

Atbaryan summarized the interview, which she reminded readers occurred a few years before the current right-wing and religious coalition took power and began its push to reform the judicial branch.

The plan, she said, included deliberately inflaming the civilian population, creating a false representation of a danger to democracy, and bankrolling protests, including purchasing flags.

Asked during the interview about a possible reprise of the “success of 1999,” when he was elected prime minister, Barak said, “A friend of mine, a historian, once told me, ‘Ehud, they will call you when bodies are floating in the Yarkon River.’ I wish to stress: not the bodies of illegally residing Palestinians from the territories will be floating, and not Israeli Arabs. The floating bodies will be of Jews that were killed by Jews.”

He went on to say that should Netanyahu somehow disappear from the scene, and should Israel’s situation worsen on various fronts, that “I am more suitable and prepared than any other person in the country to take the wheel.”

In an address to London-based think tank Chatham House in March, Barak went into detail regarding how protests could bring down a government.

The politician said he was sure his side would win “because I know our people, and we have even empirical evidence for this.”

He referred to the research of professor Erica Chenoweth and political scientist Maria J. Stephan, who co-authored the 2012 book, “Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict.”

Barak said the two researchers looked at hundreds of civil protests from 1900 to 2006, and “they found a common denominator”—protests that succeeded included 3.5% of the population, or roughly 8% of the adult population, and “tenaciously and persistently” kept up the protests, boycotts and civil disobedience.

“At the end the government either falls or capitulates,” said Barak. “We already crossed this number in less than three months so we are heading in the right direction.”

Barak in a Twitter post published on Friday claimed that the video interview being shared was incomplete, and said it didn’t reveal any new information.

“Netanyahu’s mouthpieces, by mistake (?), cut short the end of the sentence: ‘Then I told him: let it not happen and let them not happen.’
There is nothing new in this ‘fascinating discovery.’ I have repeated this story at least three times live in the past,” he wrote.

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