Ahead of Israeli Elections Ehud Barak Announces Retirement From Political Life

In a dramatic press conference, the Defense Minister, who has seen a recent spike in popularity following Operation Pillar of Defense, announces he will not run in the upcoming Israeli elections; Netanyahu says he respects Barak's decision.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced on Monday that he is withdrawing his candidacy from the upcoming Knesset election and will retire from political life after serving out his term in office. At a surprise morning press conference, Barak said: "I will step down from my position as defense minister once a new government is assembled in three months."