February 24, 2012
Defense Minister Ehud Barak strongly criticized President Shimon Peres on Thursday, after a Haaretz report revealed that Peres is expected to tell U.S. President Barack Obama that he does not believe Israel should attack Iran in the near future.
The two presidents are due to meet in Washington, D.C., on Sunday March 4.
“With all due respect to various officeholders from the past and present, the rumor that there is [only] one government in Israel has also reached the United States,” Barak said sarcastically in private conversations, adding: “In the end, there is an elected [Israeli] government that makes the decisions and that is its responsibility.”
During Barak’s criticism of the Israeli president, he made reference to Peres’ conduct in the early 1980s when Israel attacked the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak, when Menachem Begin was prime minister.
“It’s the same Shimon Peres who in 1981 opposed the bombing of the reactor in Iraq,” the defense minister said.