Netanyahu, Herzog Swapped Draft Agreements in Secret Talks for Joint Government

The sides had hoped to reach a deal by the end of May, but then the talks froze after Herzog came under investigation last month.

Yossi Verter
Yossi Verter
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuCredit: Marc Israel Salem and Moti Milrod
Yossi Verter
Yossi Verter

Up until the announcement of the investigation into opposition leader Isaac Herzog's primary finances, he and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been in touch about Zionist Union joining the governing coalition for many long months.

The talks had grown more intense in the past few weeks. As reported by Haaretz two weeks ago, both sides had intended to reach an agreement during the spring Knesset break and present a unity government by the start of the summer legislative session, at the end of May.

Gaps still remained over various issues: In the diplomatic realm, and also with respect to Herzog's demand to remove Habayit Hayehudi from the coalition, which Netanyahu rejected.

Herzog's representative to the talks, which are now frozen following the criminal examination opened against the Zionist Union leader, was and in effect remains, Yossi Kucik, the onetime director-general of the Prime Minister's Office when Ehud Barak was premier from 1999-2001. Herzog was cabinet secretary at the time.

Kucik, currently chairman of the Yashir Insurance group and head of a consultancy firm, was in charge of the secret contacts on Herzog's part, with Netanyahu's representatives, among them, cabinet minister Yariv Levine.

In recent weeks they were even exchanging drafts of a possible coalition agreement.

Herzog has refused to confirm or deny this. His associates say: "There was some running around on the part of many people in the past year, who tried to advance contacts for unity, and it didn't ripen into anything substantial."

The full article will appear in Friday's Haaretz.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott