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Ending speculation, Herzog says he won’t ‘crawl’ into coalition

‘We must not give the government a lifeline. We must replace it,’ Zionist Union leader tells supporters

Zionist Union leader MK Isaac Herzog speaks in the Knesset, May 15, 2015. (Knesset spokesperson)
Zionist Union leader MK Isaac Herzog speaks in the Knesset, May 15, 2015. (Knesset spokesperson)

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog spoke out Sunday against speculation his Zionist Union faction is planning to join Benjamin Netanyahu’s government in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal reached last week.

Rumors have circulated in the press and in the hallways of the Knesset that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud is holding informal contact with Zionist Union representatives in a bid to add the opposition’s largest party to his narrow government.

The Zionist Union would not form a unity government with Netanyahu, Herzog said firmly in a speech before the Labor Party Central Committee in Jaffa.

“Benjamin Netanyahu must be replaced. We must send him home. I say ‘no’ to crawling into Netanyahu’s far-right government,” he said.

Herzog charged that the last three consecutive Netanyahu governments “failed” on a variety of issues: “cost of living, cost of housing, failure to get a fair gas framework for Israel’s citizens, shameful neglect of contract labor, the inconceivable rift with our greatest friend in the world, the freeze in the [peace] process,” and more.

To a cheering crowd, he declared that “we must not give [the government] a lifeline. We must replace it, today, tomorrow, as soon as possible.”

Herzog also criticized Netanyahu for “failing to prevent” the nuclear deal with Iran signed last week.

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