JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israel Democratic Party, or Yisrael Demokratit, is the name of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s new political party, and neither the U.S. Democratic or Republican party organizations in Israel are happy about it.
Barak announced the name of his party on Saturday, under the slogan “the State of Netanyahu or the State of Israel.”
Barak announced late last month that he would form a new party with the goal of defeating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Netanyahu has reached the end” of his political career,” Barak said in his June 26 announcement. “The Netanyahu regime must be felled.”
Democrats Abroad Israel chair Heather Stone told the Jerusalem Post that the new party’s name is “misleading, because Democrats Abroad has a country committee in Israel and Democrats Abroad is an arm of the Democratic Party.”
On Sunday Barak announced he would try to form a center-left bloc with the Labor and Meretz parties and to include Tzipi Livni, who most recently united her HaTnuah party with Labor.
Mark Zell, co-chairman of the Republicans Overseas Israel, later tweeted his criticism.
“Why Ehud Barak would want to name his new party after this bunch of losers is beyond me,” he tweeted shortly after the announcement.