Herzog attacks Netanyahu from the Right, says he 'strengthened Hamas'

Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog sharply criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's handling of Operation Protective Edge.

February 8, 2015 20:58
2 minute read.

PM Netanyahu, Ya'alon and Gantz in the South. (photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)

Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog sharply criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of Operation Protective Edge Sunday in a campaign video he released.

Herzog attacked Netanyahu from the Right in the video, which is entitled “Netanyahu – weak against Hamas.”

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“You had to hit them on the head and on time,” Herzog said, speaking to Netanyahu in the video. “You failed. What accomplishment did you have in the war? Did you destroy Hamas? You strengthened Hamas.”

Netanyahu appeared to respond to Herzog in a speech to French immigrants in Jerusalem, telling them that if elected, the Zionist Union leader would go to Ramallah and give up Jerusalem to the Palestinians.

Herzog’s No. 2, Tzipi Livni, said Sunday that the Zionist Union would not enter a coalition together with Likud and Bayit Yehudi. Yesh Atid MK Shai Piron said in an interview with the Galei Israel radio station Sunday that his party would prefer to join a coalition led by Herzog and not Netanyahu.

Zionist Union campaign chairman MK Eitan Cabel called upon the Central Elections Committee on Sunday to require that the cost of publishing the Israel Hayom newspaper – viewed as strongly supportive of Netanyahu – be taken out of Likud’s campaign budget.

Speaking at a press conference outside the newspaper’s Tel Aviv Headquarters, Cabel said if Netanyahu wants to publish propaganda, he should have to pay for it.

“Millions of shekels from gamblers in Las Vegas come to this place,” Cabel said. “Young people around the country know that the prime minister does not work for them but for a gambling tycoon.”

Cabel referred to Sheldon Adelson, the wealthy owner of the Venetian Casino in Las Vegas and chief financier of Israel Hayom. Zionist Union activists distributed fake $100 bills bearing Netanyahu’s picture on one side and Adelson’s on the other.

Cabel declined to answer questions about whether he would serve as a minister under Netanyahu if he formed a government and about whether he believes non-profit organizations like Yad Vashem and Taglit-Birthright Israel that are funded by Adelson should continue accepting his money.

Herzog wrote on the prime minister’s Facebook wall on Sunday pleading with Netanyahu to agree to a public debate. Globes reported Sunday that Netanyahu gave a firm no to requests from television stations that wanted to air such a debate.

Cabel wrote letters to the heads of the three television news stations in Israel on Sunday, asking them to insist on Netanyahu agreeing to a debate or stop covering him.

Herzog’s associates confirmed a Sunday Channel 2 report that Herzog was in contact with Paul Begala, a former adviser to former US president Bill Clinton, about hiring him as a consultant.

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