Will Barak jump to Likud?

One of the intriguing stories to have emerged from Israeli politics early in 2012 is the possibility that Ehud Barak may have a slot on the Likud list in the next election.

Israel National News cites a story in Maariv.

According to the report, [Likud leader and PM Binyamin] Netanyahu is pressing for a reform of the internal elections process in the party that would make it possible to set aside four spots in the list for external candidates. The general consensus among observers is that this step is meant to allow Barak to receive high placement in the list’s “top ten.”

If it happens, it would be Barak’s third party in about one year. He left Labor in order to remain Defense Minister when the party was about to vote to leave the coalition. In order to keep the ministership, he set up a new party called Independence. But polls suggest this new party may struggle to clear the threshold, so if he wants to remain as Defense Minister, he may need a lifeline from Likud.

It was quipped in Haaretz earlier that the rise of Labor in the polls after Barak’s departure was “the first instance of a leader rehabilitating a political party by leaving it.”

What impact he may have on Likud, if he joins its list, is a subject of much internal debate. For instance, “Is he really an electoral asset? I think he is an electoral liability,” Deputy PM Moshe Yaalon was recorded saying.

2 thoughts on “Will Barak jump to Likud?

  1. One might say that “Independence” is not really a party in any meaningful sense. It’s just the personal vehicle of Barak.

    Barak’s personal vote is certainly not what it once was (e.g. in 1999, when he was elected PM in Israel’s second of three direct PM elections).

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