Israel’s Leadership Vacuum: Ehud Barak Speaks Out to Foreign Affairs

Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak called for early elections in Israel to replace Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a letter to Foreign Affairs magazine on Sunday.

Barak compared David Ben-Gurion (Israel’s first prime minister) to Netanyahu, describing the current Prime Minister as “narcissistic, manipulative, [and] shortsighted.” He criticized Netanyahu for rejecting the two-state solution despite appearing to accept it when proposed by the US and Biden’s administration.

The risks Netanyahu faces, according to Ehud Barak

Barak highlighted the dilemma Netanyahu faces with Biden’s latest proposal, forcing him to choose between losing support from the far-right or risking further conflict in Gaza, damaging relations with the US and risking peace with Muslim countries.

Getting out of Gaza

Barak proposed early elections by June 2024 and suggested that Netanyahu’s main opposition should run together on the condition of accepting Biden’s offer with some adjustments related to security.

Netanyahu’s failures, according to former PM Ehud Barak

Barak criticized Netanyahu for failing to make strategic decisions during the recent conflict, particularly in releasing hostages and controlling the border. He accused Netanyahu of prioritizing his coalition with the far-right over crucial security measures.

Barak’s input on the hostages’ situation

Barak emphasized the importance of freeing hostages and criticized Netanyahu for prioritizing his image over their safety. He highlighted Netanyahu’s history of rejecting plans to eliminate Hamas leaders, putting the hostages at risk.

The possibility of co-existence

Barak discussed the challenges of the proposed two-state solution and the growing threat from Iran’s proxies. He acknowledged the difficulties of convincing the Israeli public but remained hopeful for eventual progress.

PM Netanyahu’s solution for Gaza’s day after

Barak critiqued Netanyahu’s vague plans for Gaza’s future, calling for a revitalized Palestinian Authority to manage civil affairs. He questioned Netanyahu’s proposals for empowering influential Gazan families without a clear governance plan.

Netanyahu vs Meir

Barak compared Netanyahu to former PM Golda Meir, emphasizing the public’s dissatisfaction with Netanyahu’s leadership. He urged opposition leaders to demand early elections before it is too late.