Ex-PM Barak Vows Never to Sit in Netanyahu Coalition Ahead of New Election

Earlier Yair Golan, expected to be second on Barak's new slate, told Haaretz he would not rule out joining Netanyahu-led government ■ Barak promises to head efforts to cancel mandatory army conscription

Ehud Barak at a press conference in Tel Aviv, 2019.
Moti Milrod

Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak's new party will not not “at any point, in any way, or under any circumstances” join a government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he said Tuesday, some two months before Israel holds its second election in 2019.

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Barak made the comment at a news conference in Tel Aviv after Haaretz reported that Yair Golan, the former military deputy chief of staff expected to run in September’s election in the number two spot behind Barak, would not rule out the possibility of joining a Netanyahu-led governing coalition.

“Usually in life you choose between the lesser of two evils,” Golan said on Haaretz’s weekly podcast

Barak said a government he would be part of would work to cancel existing military conscription legislation, adding he’d seek to fulfill this within a year of his election. The law would be replaced by “an integration plan,” he said.

Yair Golan speaks at a press conference in the Dan Hotel in Tel Aviv, July 2, 2019
\ Moti Milrod

Under his four-point proposal, the military would draft “those interested in serving, and in accordance with its needs.” Those choosing not to serve would be recruited to do what he called “national civil service,” including Israel’s Arab citizens.

Barak’s plan also calls for, as he put it, “a maximum number of Haredi citizens to be a part of the labor market.”

Barak said “there would be an honorable arrangement for excellent students of the Torah, for whom Torah study is a way of life.”

Barak said earlier on Monday that Sagit Peretz Deri, an attorney and feminist activist and founder of a woman’s forum in the Habayit Hayehudi party, was joining his party. A statement described Peretz Deri as an “activist in many social and public struggles over the character of the city of Beit Shemesh and the Adulam region.”