Herzog Says Won't Remain Labor Leader at Any Cost

'No one is under the illusion that Herzog will be the next prime minister,' source says, however the party has yet set a date for primary elections.

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

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union), suggested Saturday that he would not remain in his position if the cost became too high.

"Public life is not easy," said Herzog when asked about his party's next primary elections at a cultural event in Holon. "When I feel that I'm no longer contributing to the public and that the public doesn't want me anymore, I'll draw new conclusions."

It is still unclear when the Labor Party will hold the vote for a new leader, and who will run against incumbent Herzog. Speculation, however, suggests that MKs Shelly Yacimovich, Amir Peretz and Erel Margelit are planning to make a bid for the job, though none of the three have officially declared such intentions.

Though his leadership was undermined in the last few months due to negotiations with Netanyahu to enter the ruling coalition, senior members of the Labor Party believe that Herzog is likely to be reelected. 

"There's no doubt that Herzog is not the ideal candidate and that his image was seriously damaged recently," said one source in the party. "No one is under the illusion that Herzog will be the next prime minister. There's nothing new in the current gallery of potential candidates, and every one of them, Yacimovich, Peretz and Margelit, have enough haters already regardless."

Herzog himself refused Saturday to commit to a date for the party primaries, but said they would take place in the second half of 2017.