Barak’s Shock Resignation

News Brief – Nov 26, 2012

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak has announced that he is leaving politics following general elections in January.
Mr Barak, who is seen as something of a hawk, said he would stay on in his current post until after a new government is formed following the January 22nd elections.
Ehud Barak said the demands of politics have left him feeling “exhausted”.
“I have decided to retire from political life and not to run for the next Knesset … I will end my term as defence minister once the next government is established, in about three months,” he told journalists.
“I want to dedicate more time to my family. I feel I have exhausted dealing with political life, which has never been a passion of mine, and I feel there is room to allow other people to serve in senior roles in Israel,” he said.
The announcement, at an abruptly called news conference Monday morning, has caught many by surprise and has the potential to change Israel’s political landscape dramatically.
Together with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Ehud Barak had been behind Israel’s confrontational stance over Iran.
However, the two who enjoyed a close working relationship for most of the past four years, have reportedly fallen out over whether to defer to the U.S. on any attack against Iranian nuclear facilities.
 The more hawkish elements in Netanyahu’s Likud Party wanted Barak replaced.
His sudden resignation is another signal – with the reduction of U.S. naval forces in the Persian Gulf and the departure of many senior U.S. military and intelligence officers – that the prospect of military confrontation with the Islamic Republic is now shifting.

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