Barak therefore resigned from his office as prime minister in a tricky timing and manner that blocked Netanyahu’s way back to power, paving the way for the expected land-slide victory of his "ideological opposite" (but in fact, close friend and ideological mentor) Sharon in 2001, who could be trusted to inflame the Intifada even further and stick to Israel’s rejectionism. Barak in fact sacrificed his position in order to make sure that the godfather of Israeli colonialism returned to power, and not Netanyahu, who had not been an army general and therefore could not be trusted.
As long as Sharon was in power, Barak could sleep well: the danger of ending the occupation was off the table. Indeed Barak used the bloody years after his defeat to make money, exploiting his contacts with the "security" business worldwide. It was then that the former (and future) leader of Israel’s social-democratic party purchased and moved to a $2.5 million luxury apartment in Tel-Aviv, taken care of by an illegally employed Philippine migrant worker.
In January 2006, however, Sharon slipped into coma. Ehud Olmert, not a member of the militaristic junta, became prime minister. Barak must have been alarmed, and returned almost immediately to the political arena. It took him a year and a half to become Olmert’s defense minister.
In the general elections of February 2009, Barak led Labor to an unprecedented defeat. With just 13 seats in the Knesset, the party that created the State of Israel and ruled it for three decades won less than half the number of seats of Kadima or of the Likud, and even lagged behind Lieberman’s party. Barak courageously took responsibility for his historic defeat, and said he now would serve the nation from the opposition. He changed his mind the next day, of course, and started coalition talks. Cards were still open, with Kadima’s Livni and Likud’s Netanyahu both in a position to form the government – Livni with a center-to-moderate-right-wing coalition, Netanyahu with a far-right one. Again, the leader of Labor followed his political conviction. By raising unreasonable demands and playing on time, he ensured Livni would not be prime minister. He then ran into Netanyahu’s far-right coalition as defense minister, to make sure his natural allies – the right-wing prime minister and his fascist deputy Lieberman – do the (far) right thing. Barak joined them in spite of severe opposition within his own Labor party, which he ignored in his typically anti-democratic manner, sowing the seeds for the present split. (Modified from Ran HaCohen).