Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog will deliver an address on Israel’s security situation Saturday night at the prestigious Munich Security Conference, a key annual gathering for the international strategic community.
The event will be attended by leaders and ministers from around the world but opposition leaders and candidates for office tend not to be invited to speak. Exceptions were made only for Herzog and expected US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
US Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry will be at the event. It was unclear Thursday night whether Herzog would meet with either of them.
A State Department official said there were “no plans at this time” for Kerry to meet with Herzog in Munich.
The attempt to build up Herzog’s security credentials comes amid polls showing that Israelis trust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with their security much more than Herzog.
A new campaign questioning Netanyahu’s security prowess will start over the weekend featuring former security officials, including former chief of staff Lt.-Gen. (res.) Dan Halutz and former OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. (res.) Avi Mizrahi.
The campaign will be funded by American philanthropist Daniel Lubetzky, who also funds the pro-peace organization OneVoice and the anti-Netanyahu organization V15.
The Likud said the new campaign was illegal and would be ineffective because it featured Halutz, whom the party called “a failed chief of staff, who left the IDF after his behavior was deemed inappropriate.”
In another step that could help the Zionist Union in the polls, the party announced that it would support attempts in the Central Elections Committee later this month to prevent Balad MK Haneen Zoabi from running.
The Zionist Union will join Likud, Bayit Yehudi and Yisrael Beytenu lawmakers in the effort to ban the MK who was aboard the Mavi Marmara and has repeatedly defended Hamas. As with past attempts to disqualify Zoabi, the issue is expected to be decided by the Supreme Court.
“Zoabi crossed all redlines of tolerance and democracy,” the party said in a statement. “Her place is not in the Knesset.”
The Zionist Union will also support disqualifying Yahad candidate Baruch Marzel.