A live appearance by Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog right after a pre-recorded interview with Netanyahu at the official residence in Jerusalem, both aired on the Thursday evening news, seems to do more good to Netanyahu than any of the prime minister’s responses to anchor Yonit Levi’s questions. The Labor leader’s appearance almost rivaled his miserable “response speech” at a kibbutz in the Western Negev aired immediately after Prime Minister Netanyahu’s address to Congress last week and taken off the air for fear that it included electioneering.
Like Netanyahu, Herzog was adamant that he “is not intending to have him join but to take over his place.” And perhaps taking a cue from Netanyahu’s closing statement, Herzog says “I am not running negotiations, I intend to win.”
But he dodges a question about Netanyahu’s accusations that a Herzog government would divide Jerusalem (“You have still not answered my question,” says Levi, after Herzog says “Netanyahu is the one that got Jerusalem into this election campaign”) and there is at least one moment of embarrassing silence between the seasoned news anchor and the party leader who, for all his good intentions, still comes across as a freshman.
In a triumphal moment Herzog says he will not pick and choose the journalists that get to interview him (“Bring it on, let them rip me apart”) – a clear reference to Netanyahu’s refusal to be interviewed on Channel 10 by Raviv Drucker.