Monday, November 26, 2012
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced today that he is quitting politics. He's going to stay on as Israel's defense minister until Israel's new government is seated after the January 22nd elections.
From a practical political standpoint, it's a pretty easy call.
Independence, the tiny centrist faction Barak created when he broke away from the Labor Party was unlikely to meet the vote percentage threshold to have any seats in the Knesset, and since Likud and Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu agreed to merge and run as a unified slate, there wasn't any room for him on that list.
At age 70, and after years of public service in the IDF and government with constant life and death decisions, he might very well feel like it's simply time to retire and smell the roses.
Possible replacement as Defense Minister? Vice Premier Moshe 'Boogie' Ya'alon, former IDF Chief of Staff, who is, shall we say, a bit more hardline than Ehud Barak.