Isaac Herzog will remain party leader for the time being..
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Labor chairman Isaac Herzog warned his opponents in next year’s party leadership race on Thursday to not stoop to divisive political attacks.
In a speech marking the 72nd anniversary of the death of one of Labor’s ideological mentors, Berl Katznelson, sponsored by the Berl Katznelson Foundation at Ohalo Manor near Kibbutz Kinneret, Herzog reacted to his critic in Labor, MK Erel Margalit, who has used strong language in his campaign.
“Divisiveness and undermining and swearing will not bring us back to power,” Herzog said. “The Israeli public will judge us on our behavior, our integrity, and our actions.”
Herzog said he saw the bad behavior within his own political camp as a great danger.
“Katznelson taught us that bullying and incitement will not build leadership, and fighting and strong language do not build a political alternative,” he said.
Turning his attention to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Herzog attacked him for permitting controversial rapper Yoav (The Shadow) Eliasi into his Likud party.
“The sparks of fascism in the Likud are a harsh and dangerous phenomena that tramples the fundamentals of our democracy,” he said.
Herzog called on Netanyahu to take immediate steps to restart the diplomatic process with the Palestinians using a regional approach.
“A government that will not take advantage of every opportunity will advance only one thing: A state with a Palestinian majority between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea,” he said. “This state would be drenched in blood and lose its Jewish Zionist identity with two competing nations that hate each other and kill each other.”
At an August 4 Knesset speech on the anniversary of the death of the prime minister’s ideological mentor, Ze’ev Jabotinsky, Herzog said that had Jabotinsky been alive today, he would be ashamed of the behavior of Netanyahu.