The splitting of the Labor Party, with Defense Minister Ehud Barak forming a new, more hawkish bloc and the less enthusiastic members likely moving into the opposition will remove from the Netanyahu government any pretense of being a “broad coalition” and will cement its right-far-right reputation at home and abroad.
The fall of Labor can only be understood from the foreign policy perspective, as it is by and large the only position on which Ehud Barak difers from traditional labor and is the only position he is seriously invested in.
We learned last week that Barak attempted to orchestrate an attack on Iran in 2010, only to be foiled by the outgoing military chief. This hastened Ashkenazi’s replacement and removed one of the major obstacles to attacking Iran. The Labor split removes the other.
Though Barak dominated the Labor Party in recent years, he has done so primarily by spinning himself publicly as more moderate than he really is, and it is quite clear the Labor voters are no where near so enthusiastic for such a war as Barak himself, and Prime Minister Netanyahu, are.
Whatever the creation of the “Independence Party” means for Barak’s political future, it cements the world view of the current Israeli government as a nation forever under siege, with an endless array of nations that must be attacked to “save” it. The fall of Labor unites Barak and Netanyahu in the only way they ever could be, their mutual desire to start a major war with Iran.