Herzog Says May Join Netanyahu's Government if Bennett's Party Leaves

In contrast, Yesh Atid leader Lapid categorically rejects joining forces with Netanyahu even if a significant diplomatic initiative was launched.

Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog at party headquarters last month.
Baz Ratner / Reuters

Zionist Union chairman MK Isaac Herzog said Saturday he might join a government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even during the current term. Herzog conditioned such a step on Habayit Hayehudi leaving the coalition and his own faction agreeing to the move.

“Netanyahu chose to go with the extremists. I don’t see a scenario where they separate from them,” Herzog told an audience in Modi’in on Saturday. “If Netanyahu separates from the extreme right we will meet and decide. I am the leader of the group but I am not a dictator,” Herzog added.

In contrast, Yesh Atid chairman MK Yair Lapid categorically rejected joining the Netanyahu government even if a significant diplomatic initiative was launched. “Yesh Atid will remain in the opposition in this term and we hope to be the ruling party and win the next elections,” Lapid told Army Radio.

New calls for peace with the Palestinians made by Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman are nothing but talk, prominent Labor Party lawmaker Shelly Yacimovich said Saturday, even as her party leader was rumored to have resumed his efforts to bring the party into Netanyahu's government. 

"When I see Netanyahu and Lieberman suddenly floating words of peace, surrounded by the humming of doves, I cannot but imagine them next wringing those doves' heads and baking them in an oven, stuffed with what's left of the Labor Party if we join them based on these words, god forbid," the former Labor leader said at a cultural event in Tel Aviv.