Herzog: We're Against Iran Deal, but Won't Join Netanyahu Coalition

Prime minister calls on Zionist Union leader to join forces, says 'there is no coalition and opposition when it comes to existential issues.'

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Zionist Union's Isaac Herzog and Likud's Benjamin Netanyahu
Zionist Union's Isaac Herzog and Likud's Benjamin NetanyahuCredit: Reuters
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Wednesday on opposition leader and Zionist Union head Isaac Herzog to join forces in countering the nuclear agreement signed between Iran and the world powers.

"On existential issues there is no coalition and opposition," Netanyahu said at the Knesset. "What is needed is a united front to ensure our existence." Herzog responded that his party will work against the deal in the interest of Israel's security – but will not join the coalition.

"The agreement signed in Vienna is not the end of the story," said Netanyahu. "We will continue to fight." The premier called on the opposition to back him, saying that "the students of Jabotisnsky must join hands with the students of Ben Gurion" – a reference to the traditional Likud/Labor divide.

Herzog said he agrees with Netanyahu about the danger the nuclear agreement poses to Israel's security, but added that his party will act against it from the opposition benches. "The agreement signed is a bad one, and endangers our security interests," Herzog said. Despite his criticism of Netanyahu's conduct and actions, Herzog said, "we must face the consequences of the agreement as a joint national challenge."

'A unified stance'

Netanyahu and Herzog met on Tuesday as well to discuss the nuclear agreement. The prime minister updated the opposition leader on the briefs given to cabinet ministers regarding the implications of the deal to Israel's security.

Netanyahu told Herzog that the agreement between the coalition and the opposition regarding the danger the deal entails for Israel's security is especially important at this time, and added that "on this issue, relating to the most significant national interest, it's important to present the world with a unified stance."

Herzog reiterated his statements from earlier on Tuesday, saying that the deal is bad and that he is "enlisting to do everything for the security of the State of Israel in the new situation that has been created."

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