Barak Faults Israeli Government for Damaging Relations With U.S.

Former Israeli prime minister who served as defense minister under Netanyahu, said at Globes conference Israel has to take boycott calls in Europe seriously.

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Ehud Barak, right, talking at the Globes conference with CNN's Richard Quest in Tel Aviv, Dec. 8, 2014.
Ehud Barak, right, talking at the Globes conference with CNN's Richard Quest in Tel Aviv, Dec. 8, 2014.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

Former Israeli leader Ehud Barak said this week that the current government had damaged Israel's relationship with the United States, according to Globes.

"I told my friend in the cabinet that we need to respect American sovereignty," Barak, the former prime minister who served as defense minister from 2007 to 2013, said at the Globes Israel Business Conference in Tel Aviv on Monday. "We must protect our own sovereignty, but, at the same time, promise that we won't destroy our relationship with the U.S. president or with the American public. The relationship was not destroyed, but it was damaged."

Barak was responding to a question about the deteriorating American-Israeli relationship, Globes reported.

Gideon Rachman, the Financial Times chief foreign affairs commentator, said the Western world had a sense that Israel is drifting rightward. "If there is a government that's not interested in two states for two nations, it's dangerous for Israel."

Barak added, "When calls to boycott Israel come from Europe, it's serious, and we must take this into account. Europe is Israel's number one partner – not the U.S., and not China."

Barak also assailed Netanyahu for openly favoring Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the 2012 U.S. election. "We cannot get involved in U.S. politics," he declared.

CNN's Richard Quest was the moderator of the discussion.



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