Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak has announced that he is throwing his hat back into the ring to challenge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the September general elections.
At a press conference in Tel Aviv, Barak said Netanyahu ”has reached the end of his career” and announced that in the next few days he will establish his own party.
“Bibi this is your last chance to go home on your own,” he said. Barak also urged Netanyahu to not drag the country into “chaos” in order to “save himself” from going to prison.
“Netanyahu’s regime must be brought down, not saved,” Barak said.
Barak who headed the Labor party defeated Netanyahu in the 1999 general elections. However, his government was short-lived after being defeated in the 2001 general elections by Ariel Sharon.
Barak returned to the Labor Party in 2005, and in 2007 was appointed Defense Minister by then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. He actually continued serving in that position until 2013 while Netanyahu was prime minister.
The Likud party, led by Netanyahu, said in a statement that “We do not intervene in how the left decides to divide its seats between Ehud Barak, Yair Lapid, and Benny Gantz”.
The 77-year-old former lieutenant general was the most decorated Israeli soldier and longest-serving chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces before assuming the position of Prime Minister in 1999.