Speaking at the annual Herzliya Conference, Barak sharply attacked the current government, saying it was threatening the foundations of the Israeli democracy.

Photo credit: Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya/Channel 2 News

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak said on Thursday that the current government threatens the foundations of democracy, accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of “leading Israel down a dangerous path.”

Speaking at the annual Herzliya Conference, one of the most prominent stages for political debate, Barak questioned Netanyahu’s judgement and suggested that he does not have the country’s best interest at heart. “In the past, we’ve had leaders who were willing to risk their seats to protect the country. Netanyahu, however, is willing to risk the country to protect his seat,” Barak said.

“The real choice we face is between proud patriotism and extreme nationalism,” Barak added. “The first one means recognizing the obligation to ourselves, to have a positive vision, to build a society based on fairness, solidarity, tolerance and justice, in order to be worthy of the legacies we hold so dear. The other, however, out of complete lack of vision and confidence, seeks to strengthen our own identity by belittling others.”