Labor Party chief Isaac Herzog at Jerusalem Post office in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu worked on his speech to Congress and his challenger, Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog, spoke to Jerusalemites while Channel 2 broadcast eight party leaders debating without them yesterday.
Speaking at a night club at an event hosted by MK Erel Margalit, Herzog reiterated his challenge to Netanyahu to debate him. He faced questions about why he chose not to participate in the debate on television.
“I did not avoid a debate, but it had to be between Netanyahu and me,” Herzog said. “He should stop avoiding a debate and stop being afraid of me.”
Herzog told the crowd that there was no difference of opinion between him and Netanyahu on Iran. But he said that the world had stopped listening to Netanyahu.
Earlier, at a Tel Aviv press conference, Herzog called Netanyahu’s speech to Congress next week “a serious strategic mistake that will harm the security of Israeli citizens.” He said that as prime minister, he would keep disputes with Israel’s allies private.
Sources close to Herzog said that after he turned down an invitation to join Netanyahu in Washington and address the annual AIPAC Policy Conference, he was likely to also turn down an invitation to address the event via satellite.
Margalit will represent the Zionist Union at the event.
Herzog continued his recent efforts to reach out to the ultra-Orthodox on Thursday. In an interview on the haredi radio station Kol Barama, he said he did not believe in ruling out haredim from joining the government.
At the event in Jerusalem, he scolded a questioner who complained that Labor voted against the haredi draft bill. He said he did not believe an army bus should go to the Mirrer Yeshiva to take its students into the army and that the best way to bring more ultra-Orthodox into the army was by working with them and not against them.