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Democratic Israel Party – Yisrael Demokratit

Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak announced the formation of a new political party called Yisrael Demokratit – Democratic Israel – with the slogan “the State of Netanyahu or the State of Israel.”

A former head of the Labor Party, Barak decided to forego reseeking the leadership and start his own party.

“Israel finds itself a moment before a complete breakdown of Israeli democracy – a moment before we give up on everything that makes us who and what we are,” Barak said in a statement. “This is a strategic threat no less serious than the Iranian threat.”

He added, “Each of us has a choice between the State of Israel and the State of Netanyahu; between the shattering of Israeli democracy, intentional damage to the rule of law, the courts and the police; between the utter trampling of Israeli government and solidarity – and the Jewish, democratic state that Israel needs, that is right and sustainable.”

Barak expressed an interest in forming a center-left bloc with the Labor and Meretz parties and, especially “his brothers in arms” Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, to defeat Netanyahu in the September election.

On July 25, 2019, Barak agreed to form a joint list – the Democratic Union Party – with Meretz.

Sources: Jonathan Lis, “Ehud Barak Unveils the Name of His New Party,” Haaretz, (June 7, 2019);
Marcy Oster, “Barak names his new political party The Israel Democratic Party,” JTA, (July 7, 2019);
Chaim Levinson and Bar Peleg, “Democratic Union Leaders Launch Campaign: Left Has Never Been Stronger; Netanyahu – Your Time Is Up,” Haaretz, (July 25, 2019).