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Ex-PM Barak dismisses Israeli government’s ’empty rhetoric’ on Iran

Former prime minister Ehud Barak, during  a media interview in Tel Aviv, September 30, 2019. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)
Former prime minister Ehud Barak, during a media interview in Tel Aviv, September 30, 2019. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

Former prime minister Ehud Barak launches criticism of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, in particular on his approach to Iran and the United States.

In a column on the front page of today’s Yediot Aharonot, Barak writes that former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to prepare a military “plan B” for dealing with Iran if diplomacy fails.

“Now, Iran is months away from becoming a nuclear threshold state, which would be unstoppable shall it choose to produce a nuclear weapon,” Barak writes. “This new reality calls for a sober evaluation and practical decisions — not empty rhetoric that may impress some in Israel, but will carry no weight in Iran or among the world powers eager on reaching a deal with the Islamic Republic.”

Barak says that “Israel must make the best of a bad situation, and there is an urgent need for strong cooperation with Washington to achieve common goals, such as preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear threshold state. This is no time for public disagreement and a mutual blame game that will be nothing more than an embarrassment, and enable no sober political position backed by military or other means.”

“Bravado and empty rhetoric is not the way to proceed and will only make Israel weaker and minimize its ability to act in self-defense,” concludes Barak. “We must all expect more from this ‘coalition of change.'”

But in response, sources in Bennett’s office slam Barak for suggesting Israel kowtow to the American position.

“There are former officials who need to give up the tendency to automatically assume the position of the American government and act as its spokespeople,” sources close to Bennett tell Ynet.

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