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July 8, 2019 10:25 am

Barak Names New Political Vehicle the ‘Israel Democratic Party’

avatar by Israel Hayom /

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak delivers a statement in Tel Aviv, Israel, June 26, 2019. Photo: REUTERS/Corinna Kern. – Ehud Barak officially unveiled the name of his new party on Saturday night: the Israel Democratic Party.

“The State of Israel is at a moment before the total dissolution of Israeli democracy. Now is the time to return hope and courage to Israel, to unite and return Israel to the right track. We are a Democratic Israel,” Barak tweeted, alongside a picture of a red, white and blue campaign poster.

The literal translation of the Hebrew name is “Democratic Israel,” but party officials told reporters that Barak, a former premier, asked for it to be named the “Israel Democratic Party” in English.

poll published on Friday gave Barak’s party just four Knesset seats out of 120 after the Sept. 17 elections.

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The name received immediate criticism from across the political spectrum.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein took to Twitter to criticize Barak, saying, “Ehud, democracy begins with a democratic process in the party. You do not have to learn only from the Likud Party—you can also learn from the party you abandoned and crushed. Remember?”

Former Jerusalem mayor and Likud Knesset member Nir Barkat said, “there is only one party in the Israeli democracy that is truly democratic and with the ability to lead the country and the nation, and it is the Likud.”

Former Labor MK Eitan Cabel said Barak’s party cannot be called democratic if it is not democratic.

“It is a party where the decisions are made by one man,” said Cabel. “He always thought of himself in grandiose terms, without any content behind him.”

Democrats Abroad Israel chairperson Heather Stone said the name was “misleading, because Democrats Abroad has a country committee in Israel and Democrats Abroad is an arm of the [US] Democratic Party.”

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