MK Paz-Pines Lashes Out at Ehud Barak Over Lebanon War Comments

Labor leadership hopeful says former prime minister 'flaunts failures' as though they were successes.

In response to former prime minister Ehud Barak's comments on the Second Lebanon War, Labor leadership hopeful MK Ophir Pines-Paz on Friday lashed out at the former prime minister claiming his record in that position was largely negative.

"It's amazing how a person with such bad experience should flaunt his failures as if they were to his advantage," Pines-Paz said.

He added that the Labor party must not "compromise for a failed leadership."

On Thursday, Barak, who is currently a leading candidate in the Labor Party leadership race, on Thursday openly criticized the management of this summer's war in Lebanon, deeming it a failure.

Barak said that the Israeli public is in the midst of a crisis "that stems from the experience of failure during the last summer, and from the cracks in the balance of power between Israel and its enemies."

Despite this, Barak added that Israel is still the most powerful country between Libya and Iran.

"The people thirst for worthy leadership. It is the leadership's duty to guide us towards change," Barak said during his the annual commemoration ceremony in honor of the fallen graduates of military boarding schools, held at the Reali School in Haifa.

During his speech, Barak also complimented Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz, and former Israel Defense Forces chief Dan Halutz, saying that they are talented people, albeit lacking in experience.

"When the dust settles over the findings and protocols of the Winograd Committee, we will see many conclusions pertaining to the management of the IDF and the home front, the decision making process, and, above all, the Israeli leadership's vital need for experience at this time," Barak said.

"This is not true of Denmark or Uruguay, and, some would say that this is not true of Great Britain, but the state of Israel has no substitute for experience in its top political echelons. Dan Halutz is one of the most talented [military leaders] this country has had in recent generations. Amir Peretz is talented. Olmert is talented, and the three of them surely had good intentions regarding the war, but ultimately, what happened, is that also on those levels there is need for more experience," added Barak.

Sources close to Peretz said in reaction that "Barak is simply shameless. He is the father of Hezbollah's increased might."

According to the sources, "Barak is the man who pulled the IDF out of Lebanon in a unilateral panicked flight, without an agreement or an international force, and left Hezbollah to grow stronger on the border...he is responsible for Israel's policy of denial."

During his term as prime minister, Barak orchestrated Israel's 2000 withdrawal from southern Lebanon.