At a dramatic press conference on Monday, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced his resignation from politics after nearly 50 years in service of the country.
“I have decided to resign from politics and I will not be running in the [upcoming] elections,” Barak told reporters at his office in the Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv. “I enlisted to the IDF in 1959 and I served the people of Israel for 47 years as well as I could.”
The defense minister reassured reporters that he would remain in his post until the establishment of the next government, following the Jan. 22 elections, and then “will free up time to focus on my family.”
“I have exhausted my contribution to politics, which I was never entirely passionate about, and I feel that I must make way for others to man senior political positions. Turnover in positions of power is a good thing,” Barak said, explaining the decision that took most Israelis by surprise.