Barak totally misread Mideast politics: Israeli minister Gilad Erdan

Israeli Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan says the Tel Aviv regime’s Minister for Military Affairs Ehud Barak totally misread the political situation in the Middle East.

“His [Barak] political and ideological approach was completely wrong. We are currently acting to raise the election threshold in order to have a proper… leadership, unlike Barak’s which has totally misread the political situation in the Middle East,” Erdan said on Monday, commenting on Barak’s decision to end his political career.

Barak announced earlier on Monday that he is retiring from politics and will not contend in the parliamentary elections on January 22.

The 70-year-old served as Israel’s 14th chief of staff and has a 36-year military career.

Six months after leaving the Israeli army in 1995, he entered politics and assumed the role of interior minister under Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. He was later named foreign minister.

Barak was elected chairman of the Israeli Labor Party in 1997. He defeated Benjamin Netanyahu in the 1999 prime ministerial election.

In May 2000, he led the Israeli army’s retreat from south Lebanon.

He was defeated by Likud leader Ariel Sharon in the 2001 election, and subsequently resigned as Labor leader and from the Knesset (parliament).

Barak announced his return to Israeli politics in 2005, and ran for the leadership of the Labor Party in November of that year.

After winning back the leadership of the Labor Party in 2007, Barak was sworn in as Minister for Military Affairs as part of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s cabinet.

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