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Monday, June 30, 2008 

Ehud Barak's error loses one of his allies

Danny Yatom of the Labor party has decided to call it quits. Here's why:
Defense Minister Ehud Barak's Labor Party suffered a blow on Monday when MK Danny Yatom resigned from the Knesset due to Barak's decision last week not to quit Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's coalition.

Yatom became the second security-minded Labor MK in five weeks to quit the Knesset, following the May 25 departure of Ephraim Sneh. Unlike Sneh, who formed a new party, Yatom decided to leave politics in favor of business and academia.

A former IDF general and Mossad chief, Yatom said he had grown frustrated with his inability to change things at the Knesset and his lack of influence as a back bench MK.


Although Yatom described his relationship with Barak as "terrific," he told the Labor faction that he decided to quit politics because Barak had rejected his advice to remove Labor from the government after the Second Lebanon War and after US financier Morris Talansky's testimony against Olmert.

"It's not a secret that in the two years since the war, I have felt uncomfortable," Yatom told the faction. "The leadership in Israel has made political survival its only goal. Moral and ethical codes that were once fundamental have been eroded."

Yatom blamed Olmert for the deterioration of Israeli politics and hinted that Barak was collaborating with the prime minister by enabling him to remain in power.

"Olmert failed in the task of leadership in war and did not succeed in moral and public tasks, [but] he is not alone, and corruption standards and improper behavior continue," Yatom said. "As a Knesset member in a coalition party, I feel as though I am a partner in the deterioration when I vote in favor of the government. I can no longer function in a reality in which political considerations fill the void of leadership and take precedence over basic values."

Yatom said he hoped that his resignation would send a message that the public should not accept corruption.
He's doing the right thing to leave, and is right in any criticism he's got for Barak.

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