Former Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, said on Tuesday that the current PM Ehud Olmert should resign over his failures in handling the war with the Lebanon-based Hezbollah party last summer.Barak called on Olmert to do like the Israeli Army Chief of Staff, Dan Halutz, who resigned in January over the poor performance of the army during the war, Israeli Ynetnews reported.
The Ynetnews added that Barak’s statements came as pressure is increasing against Olmert to resign over his mishandling of the conflict.
Last month, the Winograd commission, which was appointed by the government in order to probe the conducts of Israeli officials during the war, concluded in its initial report that Olmert “failed to evaluate an exit plan, and took Israeli to war hastily”.
The commission is headed by the retired justice Eliyahu Winograd.
Barak added that the Winograd report found harsh conclusions demanding Israeli officials to draw their personal conclusion and resign.
“Chief of Staff, Dan Halutz, drew his conclusions and resigned”, Barak stated, “I believe that Olmert will draw his own conclusions”.
Barak also stated that he would push for early elections if Olmert does not resign by the end of May, which is the set date for Labor Party primaries.
“If I am elected as the head of the Labor party on May 28, and Olmert has not yet resigned, I would push for new elections”, Barak told reporters in a press conference in Header.
The Ynetnews reported that Barak stated that his party would have a coalition with Kadima party if Olmert agrees to resign by the end of a transitional period.
Barak added that Kadima party, which Olmert heads, should either elect a new leader, who would form a new government, or call for early elections.
It is worth mentioning that the Winograd Commission also faulted the current Labor party leader, Israeli Defense Minister, Amir Peretz, for failing to seek sufficient military advice during the war, since he has limited military knowledge.
Both Barak and the former Shin Bet chief, Ami Ayalon, are challenging Peretz on the leadership of the Labor party. He said that he would give up his defense portfolio in exchange for the finance ministry if reelected, the Ynetnews said.