‘Explain yourself’ – Israeli lawmaker questions Ehud Barak’s connection to Epstein

Despite his documented ties to Epstein, including receiving more than $3 million from his Wexner Foundation, the mainstream Israeli media has never seriously questioned Barak’s connection to the sex trafficker.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli questioned the relationship between former prime minister Ehud Barak and the notorious sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein on Twitter, demanding that the influential left-wing politician provide clarity regarding his friendship with the disgraced financier.

“If you’re going to pretend to remain a public figure leading protests, you should sit down in front of a camera and explain once and for all what brought you to visit Mr. Epstein so many times, and for what services his number one client Leslie Wexner allegedly paid you,” Chikli wrote on Twitter, along with a screenshot of a recent Wall Street Journal article about the mens’ relationship.

“Mr. Barak said he often met with Epstein on trips to New York and was… introduced to people to discuss geopolitics or other topics. ‘He often brought other interesting persons, from art or culture, law or science, finance, diplomacy or philanthropy,’ Mr. Barak said,” read a passage from the Journal report highlighted by Chikli.

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Far-left anti-Zionist philosopher Noam Chomsky was also an associate of Epstein’s, the Journal reported.

Why isn’t Barak persona non grata?

Despite his documented ties to Epstein, including receiving more than $3 million from his Wexner Foundation, the mainstream Israeli media has never seriously questioned Barak’s connection to the sex trafficker.

Barak is still viewed as a legitimate leader on the left, appearing at anti-judicial reform protests and speaking as a commentator on political news broadcasts.

For years, Israeli activists have sounded the alarm regarding the close ties between Barak and Epstein, which continued after the latter was convicted of soliciting a minor for prostitution and sentenced to 13 months in prison.

The Daily Mail newspaper photographed Barak visiting Epstein’s New York home in 2013, several years after his conviction, while wrapping a scarf around his face in a manner which suggested he was attempting to hide his identity.

In a 2016 deposition, Virgina Roberts Guiffre said she was introduced to Barak as a teen and that he had sexually abused her.

Responding to the allegation in Israel Hayom, Barak said he “does not comment on imaginary rumors or false affidavits.”

Barak has admitted to visiting Epstein’s private Caribbean island multiple times, where investigators and victims have said that sexual abuse took place.

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Financial impropriety?

According to a 2021 book focusing on Epstein’s relationships with high-profile politicians and celebrities, Barak was a “frequent guest, almost a fixture” at the financier’s home. Journalist Michael Wolff wrote that Barak had also attempted to help Epstein rehabilitate his reputation after his conviction on using a minor for prostituion.

While it’s clear that Barak was a close associate of Epstein, what has yet to be revealed is more information regarding their financial ties.

“The recent discoveries about Epstein’s meetings are just a reminder of how big his financial schemes were. This is a part of the story which is not being reported enough, and which is essential in understanding his role, especially with Ehud Barak,” Elad, a researcher who has been following the Barak scandal for years, told World Israel News.

“Together with the [developments regarding Barak’s financial ties] to the U.S. Virgin Islands, we see enough evidence of financial crimes that are interwoven with Epstein’s criminal enterprise and that need to be investigated also in Israel,” he added.

“Barak was already grilled on his shady financial dealings with [late financier and fugitive] Marc Rich. This is even a bigger story.”