Ehud Barak, 77, was the IDF’s longest-serving chief of staff and the country’s most decorated soldier before becoming prime minister in 1999 after defeating Benjamin Netanyahu in elections.
Following his defeat in 2001 to the late Ariel Sharon, Barak temporarily retired from politics, but returned to the Labor Party in 2005. From 2007 to 2013, he served as defense minister, the last four years of which were under Netanyahu.
In 2011, he split with Labor. The change was short-lived with his Atzmaut party remaining in Netanyahu’s coalition government, despite the objection of most of Labor. The party was effectively disbanded upon Barak’s second retirement from politics in 2013.