With elections looming, Israel's domestic politics is heating up. Initially, most parties were turning the ultra-orthodox front of Eli Yishai (Shas) and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) into a dartboard, but attention is now on Labour Party leader and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak.
Barak has raised the stakes by putting the current approach of his own Government on the spot. In response, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeated that the Palestinian Authority is the only party responsible for the deadlock of the peace process.
The fight is spilling into sharp allegations in the media. The State Department denied claims that the US Administration was furious with Barak for misleading them regarding his role in the peace process, but Haaretz sources insist that Washington is still "disappointed" with Barak.
This, however, may rebound to the benefit of the Minister of Defense. Any stigma on Barak cannot be equal to that placed upon the Netanyahu Government if there is no move, even a token one, towards a resumption of talks.