Herzog and Peres 370.
(photo credit: Mark Neiman/GPO)
One of the first people to visit President Shimon Peres after he took office in
July 2007 was Labor MK Isaac Herzog.
He came to personally congratulate
the man who had been his mentor, in an office previously occupied by his father
Chaim Herzog, Israel’s sixth president.
On Sunday, Herzog, once again
called on Peres, this time to close a circle.
Peres had telephoned him on
Friday when the results of the Labor Party leadership elections were made
public, and wished him well in his new position.
Herzog had replied that
it was an honor and a privilege to be serving in a position once held by Peres
On Sunday, Herzog as chairman of the Labor Party and on the eve
of becoming Opposition leader again called on Peres to receive congratulations
personally and to receive his blessing.
Peres told him that when he had
been a Labor MK, Herzog’s father had entrusted him with various tasks for the
benefit of the state.
Peres perceived Sunday’s meeting as the closing of
a circle in that he as president, was congratulating Chaim Herzog’s son on his
election to the chairmanship of the Labor Party and entrusting him with
continuing the democratic process.
In wishing Herzog success, Peres
expressed confidence in Herzog’s ability to make a true and meaningful
contribution to the state.
Herzog responded that it was an emotionally
moving moment for him to be with Peres at this time. “I started my political
career as one of your disciples, and today I am here in a new role as chairman
of the party,” he said.
Herzog added that he was aware of the enormous
challenge to provide a viable alternative to the existing administration, but
his immediate mission he emphasized, was to unite the party, “the important
party that founded the state.”