Herzog says 'right-wing incitement reminiscent of days leading to Rabin assassination'

Likud, Bayit Yehudi have accused Labor of fielding party list that includes 'anti-Zionists.'

February 5, 2015 12:29
2 minute read.
Israelis mourn the assassiniation of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin

Israelis mourn the assassiniation of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Isaac Herzog, the head of the Zionist Union ticket, told Channel 2 on Thursday that his opponents in the nationalist camp are engaged in “incitement that reminds him of the days leading up to the Rabin assassination.”

Herzog, who is hoping to amass enough votes to enable him to form a government that would replace the coalition headed by the incumbent premier, Benjamin Netanyahu, rejected accusations from Likud and Bayit Yehudi candidates that the ZU list was comprised of “anti-Zionists.”

“All of [the candidates] are Zionists through and through,” Herzog told Channel 2. “They didn’t say what people usually claim they have said. Our party is the Zionist one, and the Right is delirious over the fact that we are calling ourselves the Zionist Union.”

Likud and Bayit Yehudi's campaigns and leaders have questioned the appropriateness of "Zionist Union" name since the Labor Party elected its list last month.

Walla! News recently revealed that Zuheir Bahloul, the only Arab candidate in a realistic spot on Labor's list, was a character witness for an Israeli Arab convicted of being in contact with Hezbollah in 2013.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video posted to his Facebook wall: "This is additional proof of the anti-Zionist character of the left-wing list led by Tzipi [Livni] and Buji [Isaac Herzog].

"When a potential MK on this list is a character witness for Hezbollah, what can we add to that?" Netanyahu asked. "The choice here is clear – an anti-Zionist list led by Tzipi and Buji, or the Likud list led by me. That is the real choice."

Bahloul told Walla! that his character witness was for the family and not "their rebellious son," adding that he knows the family well and it is for coexistence with Jews. He also said he opposes the son's actions and he is fighting attempts to incite between Jews and Arabs.

Bayit Yehudi candidate Ronen Shoval submitted a complaint to the Central Election Committee Thursday, which states that Labor-Hatnua's Hebrew name, "Zionist Camp," is misleading.

Shoval's complaint came after Bayit Yehudi released images of people on the Labor list with quotes that they found questionable, without context, and he used the quotes in his complaint. Likud MKs have also used them to attack the other party.

For example, they quote Bahloul as saying "our Palestinian identity is stronger than the Israeli one." MK Stav Shaffir's quote is taken from a book on the 2011 social protests, of which she was a leader, which said she called Hatikvah a racist song. MK Merav Michaeli once said in an Army Radio interview that mothers should not send their sons to the army as long as the "occupation" continues. Bayit Yehudi used several qotes for candidate Yossi Yona, including "I don't connect to this word, Zionism. It doesn't express who I am" and "Yom Hashoa and Nakba Day should be on the same day."

Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.

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