Yesh Atid party chairman Yair Lapid criticized Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog on Saturday, charging that the head of the Knesset’s second largest faction ultimately wants to join Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu’s coalition and therefore was failing to challenge its planned new policies and budgetary allocations.
“[Herzog] is silent because he is still waiting for a phone call from Netanyahu asking him to join,” Lapid said at an event in Tel Aviv.
“Terrible things are happening here in recent weeks, they are selling our country, and Isaac [Herzog] and his party are silent.”
Lapid said the coalition deal with United Torah Judaism alone would cost Israel 4.5 billion shekels (in excess of $1 billion). If the Zionist Union wasn’t going to lead a spirited opposition, he said, Yesh Atid would.
Herzog has said repeatedly that he will lead a determined opposition to Netanyahu’s incoming “dangerous” coalition, and has no plans to be part of it, but has refused to rule out ever joining it.
Netanyahu has kept the foreign minister’s job open in his planned government – apparently to woo Herzog.
In response to the criticism by Lapid, the Zionist Union released a statement accusing the Yesh Atid chairman of making baseless comments that would ultimately only weaken the opposition to Netanyahu in the Knesset.
“It is amusing to see the one whose head is still smeared with the butter of the failed Netanyahu-Lapid government now acting as an opposition [to the government],” the Zionist Union statement read.
“He should learn from Herzog, who says something and means it, and stop aiding the government of Netanyahu by releasing irresponsible statements which divide the opposition parties.”
Read more at Times of Israel.