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“After a six-year political break, former prime minister Ehud Barak decided to return to the political arena and announced the establishment of a center-left party, the Israel Democratic Party, which will run in the upcoming Knesset elections in September.
Of all the leading politicians in the center-left bloc, there is no doubt that Barak, who served as chief of staff (1991-1995), as prime minister (1999-2001), and as defense minister (2007-2013), is the most experienced and senior candidate.
During his tenure as prime minister, Barak showed political courage when he tried to reach a permanent-status agreement with the Palestinians, endangering his political standing when he did not refrain from discussing the core issues in negotiations with the Palestinians, especially regarding Jerusalem and the refugees.
In addition, during his tenure as defense minister, alongside the rehabilitation of the IDF after the Second Lebanon War, Barak faced important challenges, including the reported destruction of the nuclear reactor in Syria, and two military operations in the Gaza Strip against Hamas.
Barak’s political career has had its ups and downs. Shortly after his term as IDF chief of staff, he was appointed interior minister in 1995 by prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. After Rabin’s assassination, Barak was promoted to foreign minister in the government of Shimon Peres, and was marked as the next leader of the Labor Party. After Peres retired from the position of chairman, Barak won without difficulty in the elections for Labor Party chairman in 1997 – and only two years later, after four years in Israeli politics, he defeated Netanyahu in the 1999 elections and became prime minister of Israel.”
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