Ehud Barak Announces Retirement

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak Quitting Politics

Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak is quitting politics, according to a statement made on Monday, which said that he will soon “leave political life,” after a career spanning half a century.

Barak’s move to leave politics comes just days after the country launched a week-long air assault on the Gaza Strip, which ended when Hamas and Israel agreed to a cease-fire, reports The New York Times.

The move is also the latest to show the disarray in Israel’s politics. While he has been able to form a close partnership with the right-leaning prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, Barack was a longtime leader of the more liberal Labor Party. He is currently head of the Independence faction.

Some observers believe Barak’s decision to quit politics is related to polls that have suggested the Independence faction may not even win enough votes for one seat in Parliament. They believe his decision to leave is one that avoids the potential embarrassment, notes The Los Angeles Times.

While announcing his intention to quit politics, 70-year-old Ehud Barak spoke at a news conference in Tel Aviv, saying:

“I came to this decision not without misgivings but in the end a while heart. I would be concealing the whole truth if I did not say that the warmth that I feel from the public — favorable coverage from some of you, in recent days — wasn’t nice. As someone who has not been indulged in that way usually, I know how to appreciate this and rejoice in it.”

Barak also stated that he looks forward to spending time with his family, adding that, “it is important yo make way for fresh faces.” What do you think of Ehud Barak’s decision to quit politics?