Ehud Barak, Chairman of the Labor party, sharply attacked
Prime Minster Netanyahu recently and repeatedly pronounced
rallying cries against the settlements, the yeshivas and all
"extremists." In a rejoinder, Netanyahu said that Barak has
nothing new to say except for hollow slogans, and that he
evades all of the issues on the agenda.
In his speech to the committee of the Labor Party, Barak
attacked Netanyahu, and claimed that only the Labor party
with its historic way can lead the State. He then repeated
his well known slogans about the "extremists." Barak once
more enumerated his priorities, and said that one must not
give the settlements, the yeshivas or the organizations
money, and should instead transfer them to educational
endeavors, the unemployed and the sick. "Political blackmail
cannot be perpetrated in the name of religion," Barak said.
Barak later delivered a political speech in which he detailed
his party's platform and did not reject the idea of
establishing a Palestinian state. He sought to neutralize
Netanyahu's reaction in the media in advance by enumerating
the failures of Netanyahu's government, especially in the
In response, the Prime Minster said that Barak constantly
repeats empty slogans without saying anything new. Netanyahu
also said that Barak wants to return the nation to the former
situation in which terror and fear prevailed. In addition, he
noted that the Government's economic measures were instituted
for the benefit of the weaker sectors of the country. "On the
advice of his American media advisors, Barak repeatedly
refers to the extremists."
In response to Netanyahu's remarks, Amnon Shachak said that
the election system is doing a repeat performance, and only a
centrist candidate such as he can restore the sanity of the
MK Benny Begin, an announced right wing candidate for Prime
Minister, attacked Barak and defined his remarks as wild
attacks against the yeshivas and settlements. "In Barak's
circles the study of Buddhism is legitimate, and there is
money for that, while there is no money for Torah studies or
the yeshivas. Why is there money for the study of astrology
and none for the study of gemora in the yeshivas?"
Begin sharply criticized the severely provocative remarks
which Barak constantly spouts.
Begin noted that students from abroad come to Israel and
study in higher yeshivas where they gain credits which they
can use in their home universities. But here in Israel, Barak
incites against yeshiva study. Begin has not previously
defended the religious point of view.