Netanyahu meets with Barak over 'uncoordinated' U.S. meetings
Following reports on a crisis between the two, Netanyahu is said to demand that such uncoordinated actions will cease to occur; a source close to Barak says 'no one reprimands the defense minister.'
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Saturday in order to reprimand him over the "uncoordinated" meetings he held with U.S. officials.
The meeting ended at 11 P.M. on Saturday. Before the meeting, it was reported that Netanyahu was expected to ask Barak to explain his uncoordinated meetings with officials from the Obama administration, in which he apparently said statements without the prime minister's consent.
"Full cooperation between the prime minister and the defense minister is necessary for the security of the citizens of Israel," Netanyahu will tell Barak, sources close to the prime minister's said before the meeting. Netanyahu, they added, will also request of Barak that such remarks will not reoccur during Barak's term as minister in his cabinet.
In response, a source close to Barak said that "no one reprimands the defense minister, not even the prime minister."
The source added that Barak is convinced his actions are contributing to the Israeli government, its relations with the U.S. and to Israel's security. "Barak will continue to act according to his understanding in Israel and abroad," he said.
In the past week it was reported that Netanyahu accused Barak of attempting to damage relations between Netanyahu and the Obama administration. Channel 2 reported Wednesday that Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz are targeting Barak and his Atzmaut party.
However, Israeli lawmakers stipulate that the so-called "Netanyahu-Barak crisis" was a political spin, manufactured to improve Barak's stand in the eyes of the public in order to enhance the strength of their parties, Likud and Atzmaut, in the joint post-election coalition.