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January 9, 2013 1:34 pm

In Israel, Rumors Circulate that Ehud Barak Could be Next Ambassador to the U.S.

avatar by Zach Pontz

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Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Ehud Barak is in Washington Wednesday on a four-day trip in which he’ll be meeting with senior officials on security matters. But some in Israel think his visit could be a preview of Barak’s future position in government.

Arik Elman, an Israeli-based political commentator and Algemeiner blogger said that rumors have begun to circulate that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might move to appoint Barak to the position of Israeli ambassador to the United States. “These are the kind of rumors going around,” Elman said. “If Netanyahu will not be able to convince Barak to return as Defense Minister, then he will try to appoint him as ambassador to the U.S.”

In November Barak said that he was quitting politics to spend more time with his family. However, many in Israel think that there’s still the possibility he could serve in the next government if Netanyahu is re-elected.

For his part, Netanyahu has been coy, though he has not been quick to deny the rumors. Says Elman: “Thus far Netanyahu does not confirm or deny any intentions with regard to Barak’s future. [He] is waiting for the election results to see how much leeway he will have with ministerial appointments, and that’s what is keeping these rumors alive.”

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