Herzog: There's no point in Labor joining coalition in its present make-up

Newly-elected Labor leader says if Netanyahu makes "courageous diplomatic step" he will help him; Yacimovich suggests she'll stay in party despite loss.

Isaac Herzog 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/ The Jerusalem Post)
Isaac Herzog 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/ The Jerusalem Post)
Newly-elected Labor Party chairman Isaac Herzog said Saturday that there was no point in Labor joining the coalition at this time in its present make-up.
Speaking in an interview with Channel 2, Herzog said that if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made a "courageous diplomatic step" in advancing a peace agreement with the Palestinians he "would be there to help him.".
Herzog said that he believed that such an agreement was "essential" to Israeli society.
Herzog slammed Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman's suggestion made this week that Israel should seek allies other than the United States, accusing him of "chutzpa."
He said that Labor could not join a coalition being controlled by hard-line Likud deputy ministers, Danny Danon and Ze'ev Elkin, as well as coalition chairman Yariv Levin.
Herzog defeated incumbent Shelly Yacimovich in Thursday's Labor primary by a margin of 58.5 to 41.5 percent.
In his victory speech at Tel Aviv's Beit Sokolow on Friday morning, Herzog said that Labor was beginning a journey to become a large party that would once again become a viable challenger for the leadership of the country.
Yacimovich suggested Saturday that she would not be leaving the party as a result of the defeat.
Speaking to supporters at a meeting in Hod Hasharon, Yacimovich said, "We are living, breathing and operating in a democratic party, and therefore we accept the results of democratic elections."
Yacimovich added: "We accept the results and are prepared to work together with the new chairman."