Herzog: Now Only Israel's Right Can Be Blamed for Failing to Stop Terror

The government should also embrace the French peace initiative as a way to avoid another war in Gaza, the opposition leader adds.

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

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog said Thursday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had formed his far-right government for pure political survival and only it could be blamed for any failures in Israel’s battle against terror.

“Netanyahu preferred to focus on narrow and dangerous considerations of political survival, so he established a thoroughly right-wing government,” Herzog said at the annual Herzliya Conference at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya.

“Now there isn’t a single person from the left to pollute the agenda, not a single leftist who can be blamed for the occurrence of terror attacks, not a single Laborite preventing the Israel Defense Forces from winning,” Herzog added.

He said there was “not a single Oslo criminal hindering the heroes of the right from vanquishing the terrorists. From eradicating terror. From stopping it. Crushing it. Smashing it. If you have any other strong words to express this agenda, you’re invited to email them to Naftali ‘Batman’ Bennett or [Avigdor] ‘Popeye’ Lieberman,” Herzog said, making up nicknames for hard-liners in Netanyahu’s government.

Herzog also referred to a statement by a senior defense official that another conflict in Gaza was inevitable. “One minute after the ‘rightist government that doesn’t have a single damn leftist’ was established, there are already some ‘close to it’ informing regional leaders about plans for a war very soon,” he said.

“I say once again, there is still another way, in Gaza too, to avoid another round of fighting and funerals. It’s right in front of us and we mustn’t let it slip away,” he said, referring to the French peace initiative.

Earlier this month, Herzog had said he could only join the Netanyahu government if it dropped the extreme right. “Netanyahu chose to go with the extremists. I don’t see a scenario where they separate from them,” he said.