Interesting political developments today in Israel as Defense Minister Ehud Barak bolted the Labor Party, his own political party, the party of which he is the head. He has created a new, “centrist” party and pulled a number of allies along. Why did he do it? Clues can be found in the articles below. Will it strengthen or hurt the Netanyahu government? For now, I believe it will strengthen. Why? Because it means the most far Left-wing members of the Labor Party are no longer in the government and thus can’t bring down the government. What’s more, those center-Left leaders like Barak who believe the Iranian threat compels them to help Netanyahu prepare for war, should it come, are able to keep their eye on their mission, and won’t have to worry about internal, divisive politics for the time being. They are free to vote and act their consciences and not worry they’ll be stabbed in the back, politically speaking, by those who believe they are traitors for serving in a Netanyahu government.
Meanwhile, interesting developments with Iran. More evidence that Israel and the U.S. developed the Stuxnet computer virus together, and that Russian officials are warning Tehran not to turn on the Bushehr reactor for the time being, lest there be a Chernobyl-style meltdown. And outgoing Mossad chief Meir Dagan is now backtracking on his confident prediction that Iran won’t have the Bomb until at least 2015. Now he’s saying he could be wrong and Iran could have nuclear weapons sooner, though he still believes that Iran’s efforts have been slowed down in recent months. Developing….
- Ehud Barak quits Labor to form ‘centrist, Zionist and democratic’ party — Four Labor MKs to join Defense Minister in new Atzmaut (Independence) faction after months of infighting in once powerful party
- Netanyahu aides: Labor Party split will help advance peace talks with Palestinians — Sources close to PM say Labor ministers who resigned from government were the ones keeping the Palestinians from conducting direct negotiations with Israel
- Netanyahu: Barak’s split from Labor strengthens Israel’s government — Likud MK: Barak is going to form a Lieberman-like party; right-wing MK Eldad: He should have quit politics altogether; Meretz urges remaining Labor members to join forces in Knesset
- Ex-Mossad chief Dagan backpedals: Iran may have nukes before 2015
- Stuxnet virus attack: Russia warns of ‘Iranian Chernobyl’ — Russian nuclear officials have warned of another Chernobyl-style nuclear disaster at Iran’s controversial Bushehr reactor because of the damage caused by the Stuxnet virus, according to the latest Western intelligence reports