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No love lost between Barak, Olmert

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein ordered the police to open an investigation, following taped conversations of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert allegedly accusing former Prime Minister Ehud Barak of taking a bribe.
Israel's Defence Minister Ehud Barak (L) sits across from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (R) and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem February 15, 2009. REUTERS/Emil Salman/JINI/Pool (JERUSALEM) - RTXBNIE
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They were both Israeli prime ministers. Ehud Barak served from 1999 to 2001, and Ehud Olmert from 2006 to 2009. They were close friends and political allies. Today, they are bitter enemies. Everything goes in this war of annihilation. They’ve called each other names. They’ve spread rumors about each other. Now it's also about denouncing each other.

The loathing between the two is considered to be the most bitter animosity in the Israeli political system, a system that has more than its fair share of hatreds. As of now, Barak is in a much better situation than Olmert, who was sentenced in May to six years in prison for his part in the bribery scandal surrounding the Holyland real estate development project in Jerusalem. He has appealed his conviction, and his sentence was postponed until the Supreme Court decides the matter. Barak, in contrast, is a happy and free civilian. Although he was ejected from politics and left his post of defense minister, which he held in the previous Benjamin Netanyahu government, he lives the good life and continues to get rich. But an allegedly incriminating tape aired Nov. 7 by the Israeli TV Channel 10 turned Barak into a potential subject of investigation. On Nov. 10, State Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein instructed police to look into claims voiced by Olmert in that tape. It's unlikely that this preliminary inquiry will develop into a full-blown investigation that will end with Barak arriving to court, but drama is drama, and the Israeli media is stirring it up.

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