Zionist Union head Isaac Herzog speaks to the press.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Amona residents and their refusal to leave their homes are a "virus" endangering Israeli democracy, opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) said Monday.
"I understand the pain of the families, but [the High Court of Justice] gave them two years to clear out, and look what this virus has done to the State of Israel and how dangerous it is to democracy, because of this nonsense," Herzog told Army Radio.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Herzog to apologize, saying he "can't believe Herzog used the term 'virus' to describe settlers."
"They are of our flesh, serve in the IDF, contribute to the state. Buji, apologize immediately," Netanyahu said, using Herzog's nickname.
Herzog made the comments the day after giving a speech in the Knesset accusing the Right of incitement against large swaths of the population. He spoke in response to the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approving a bill to compensate the Palestinian owners of land on which outposts were built, rather than evacuate the outposts' residents.
The proposal is meant to save the Amona outpost slated for demolition on December 25; the state has asked the High Court of Justice for a seven-month postponement.
The opposition leader said that if the bill should pass, it would be a "serious stain on Israel law books, because it authorizes theft and robbery. There is no precedent, nothing like it, in which the Israeli government authorized a law that allows taking land from private people."
Herzog added that the High Court's ruling was very clear, and Amona must be evacuated. The bill, he argued, is an attempt to pressure the court.
MK Hotovely on legality of settlement resolution and regarding Amona
Bayit Yehudi MK Motti Yogev tweeted in response to the comments that Herzog is "an asset to the nationalist camp."
"Buji fell again, and it was too far this time," Yogev wrote.