Herzog slams demand for PM to speak at Independence Day ceremony

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog slams a demand to break with protocol that would allow Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak at the national Independence Day ceremony, which this year will mark Israel’s 70th birthday.

Herzog says that while the Knesset speaker is the only person who, by tradition, should address the torch-lighting event, he would himself demand to speak if the prime minister did also.

“If Miri Regev fights for a speech from the prime minster, she should also be fighting for me to speak,” he tells Radio 103FM. “The law says that after an appearance by the prime minister at an official ceremony, the head of the opposition appears so that the entire nation is represented.”

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog addresses the Knesset on November 21, 2017, during a ceremony marking 40 years since the visit of president of Egypt Anwar Sadat (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Culture Minister Miri Regev, who is responsible for the ceremony, is insisting on breaking with tradition to allow Benjamin Netanyahu to address the invited guests.

The current Knesset speaker, Yuli Edelstein, has threatened to boycott the event if she carries through with the proposal.

— Sue Surkes

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