Barak slams Netanyahu’s ‘childish obsession’ with image
In the latest leak of Ehud Barak’s interviews with his biographers, the former defense minister slams Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “childish” in his obsessive concern for his public image.
Barak criticizes Netanyahu for allegedly dominating the 2011 welcoming ceremony for IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, who had just been freed from five years’ captivity in Gaza.
“He displayed something childish to a truly embarrassing degree, that desire, that supreme importance [to be seen],” Barak says.
The ceremony “took place inside an Air Force base, which in the end I’m responsible for in the government’s name [as Barak was defense minister at the time]. Ordinarily, the ceremony would be organized by a technical person from the [Israel Defense Forces] General Staff. Here, there were these teams from the Prime Minister’s Office to organize this, and everything was focused on one thing — that the very first picture of this kid coming down [off the plane] would be with only Bibi [Netanyahu] in the frame.”
Barak complains that “if I’d listened to the literal instructions of this team, it was possible that the defense minister wouldn’t have been allowed to approach [Shalit] until Bibi was finished speaking to him.
“This intensity is an extreme in his personality, it’s a weakness that can go to these childish places in chasing after momentary things. Bibi has a very strong sense that the picture, the word, is more important than the deed.”