Amidst Crisis, Herzog Urges Livni and Lapid to Leave Coalition

November 24, 2014  

During a Labor Party faction meeting Monday afternoon, Opposition Leader, Yitzhak Herzog issued strong criticism against the conduct of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and called on several ministers to abandon the coalition. 

Herzog pointed specifically toward Minister of Finance Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) and Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni (Hatnua) as those who should leave the government. 

Herzog’s plug comes the day after the controversial “Jewish State Law” passed in a Cabinet vote. Despite a deferment on the date of the preliminary Knesset vote, the bill continues to create ripples of unrest in the coalition, particularly with Netanyahu’s demand that all coalition members vote in favor. 

Livni, for example, is adamantly opposed to the bill. In an interview with Channel 2 Sunday evening, Livni said: “I will not lend a hand to this bill. It’s a bad, anti-Zionist, anti-democratic law which is contrary to the Declaration of Independence.”

She continued: “I will not be a partner of it in any way, shape or form. If the prime minister decides to dismiss ministers who are fighting for a Jewish-democratic Israel, that can certainly be his decision. I have never given up on my principles.”

In his statement Monday, Herzog argued that Netanyahu failed on a number of subjects, including “unnecessary and dangerous legislative initiatives, as well as intense failures in the economy, security, education, and the peace process.” 

“I call on Livni, Lapid, and both their parties,” Herzog stated. “This episode is over. Get out from the government as soon as possible. This has been a transitional government from its date of inception. You were a partner in it, but you can still undo the damage by joining us and changing the face of the country.” 

This is certainly not the first time Herzog has pointed specifically to Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni urging them to leave the coalition. 

In May, Herzog called on the ministers to break the coalition given that peace talks with the Palestinian Authority were not progressing. 

Herzog took particular issue with the Prime Minister’s determination that Livni was representing only herself in her meeting with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. 

“I find it hard to understand what people like Tzipi Livni, Ofer Shelah or Amram Mitzna are looking for in a government in which, according to the Foreign Minister, their main role is to play checkers,” Herzog charged.

Then again, in June, Herzog called on Lapid and Livni to leave Netanyahu’s coalition and join a center-left bloc under his leadership.

“I am the only one who can establish a center-left bloc that will serve as an alternative to the Netanyahu government,” Herzog said at a cultural event in Holon. He added, “Lapid and Livni have nothing left to do in this government.”

Herzog continued Monday, saying, “we, the Labor Party, stand here today as an alternative, as a way to save the country.” 

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