Barak’s excuse for joining the far-right coalition was to balance Lieberman and "pull Netanyahu to the left." At this stage in Barak’s career, one had to be extremely naïve or totally uninformed to trust his alleged commitment to any peace process. Such extreme naiveté and/or total uninformedness were found – in Obama’s administration. It took the American president, his secretary of state Clinton, and their advisors almost two years to reach the conclusion which was obvious from the very outset, namely that:
for more than a year and a half Barak misled them about his persuasive powers with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding the peace process. […] "We put all our money on him a year and a half ago," the Israeli official quoted his U.S. colleague as saying. "The entire administration bet on Barak because he said he could nudge Netanyahu toward an agreement with the Palestinians, but he deceived us and led us down the garden path." […] "He charmed us with his intelligent analyses; the president listened to Barak like a student with his teacher and trusted him, but he didn’t meet any of his promises over the peace process and the building freeze," the official told the Israeli; […] "in shock …. I almost burst into tears." (Ha’aretz, 2nd January 2011)
Barak deceiving?! What a surprise. Indeed, even the U.S. official admitted that Barak’s disappointing behavior evoked a sense of deja vu in Washington, especially at the State Department, recalling his failures as prime minister in the peace talks at Shepherdstown and Camp David.
Like the old joke about the benefit of dementia – you meet new people all the time. The fact that Washington finally unmasked Barak as a man of war and deceit, not as the man of peace he pretends to be, might be a central reason for his political step. By leaving Labor, Barak boosted Netanyahu’s coalition, which became smaller but stronger: Barak’s small fraction is now personally loyal to its leader, who in turn is dependent on Netanyahu, and is likely to join the Likud in future. Barak’s "new" political line was made obvious in his departure speech, in which he accused the remaining Labor party of "a drift to the left and even farther left," of "post-modernism" and "post-Zionism." Obviously, Barak is heading on to the far, far right. This may be a sign of policy change. Unmasked by Washington, Barak will no longer play the phony man-of-peace, but strengthen the far-right/fascist government in its open defiance towards the US and the rest of the international community. Netanyahu already used Barak’s step to entrench even further in his rejectionism; he did this by explaining that thanks to the moderate Labor ministers the Palestinians stiffened their demands; now that those ministers were gone – they all resigned after Barak left Labor – the Palestinians would be obliged to soften their positions, and the peace process would be back on track, Netanyahu predicted. Sure thing The unmasked Barak may now help Netanyahu and Lieberman to turn Israel into a rogue state, which is openly defying the US, the UN, and the international community. In the long run, this might be in the benefit of Israelis and Palestinians alike. In the short run, it’s likely to lead to a catastrophe. Not surprisingly, predictions of a coming war with Lebanon and Syria are already in the air. (Modified from Ran HaCohen)