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Barak’s Break With Party Shakes Up Israeli Politics

This NY Times article discusses Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak decision to leave the left leaning Labor Party and create a new, smaller centrist party named Independence.  Barak is joined by four parliamentarians of the labor party in this new venture.  His reasoning for this move is that the Labor Party had drifted to far from the mainstream and that he was tired of pressure to withdraw from the government due to the lack of progress on peace.  This shift in Israeli politics has lead to many partisian statements from the leaders of the Labor Party and Barak.  However, analysts see this as creating a more stable political environment.  Labor has long threatened to leave the government coalition, but in losing their leader Barak, this is less likely to be an actual outcome.

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