Ambassador Herzog Mum on Entering Israeli Politics

Israel’s UN Ambassador Chaim Herzog, here for consultations following the recess of the General Assembly, is stolidly refusing to answer questions on his own future. At a press conference last week he invited pundits to keep guessing as to whether he planned to enter politics–and if so in which party.

Herzog acknowledged that he had met last week with Yigal Yadin, one of “a great number of friends” whom he had seen during his home visit. He was not in the habit of disclosing details of his conversations with his friends, he said tartly. Yadin heads the new Democratic Movement for Change which will seek Knesset seats in the next elections.

Privately Herzog admits that he has not as yet made up his mind as to his future. When he was appointed to the UN in the summer of 1975 by Foreign Minister Yigal Allon, he made it clear that he saw the job as a two-year stint after which he would have the option of entering politics. His law partners in his Tel Aviv practice are prepared for such an eventuality.

The advent of early elections has caught him in mid-hop and he must now decide within the coming weeks as to what he will do. The law requires public servants to resign 100 days before an election if they wish to stand for office. In this connection, Herzog’s plans may be complicated by UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim’s planned visit to the Mideast possibly next month. Herzog would be expected to escort the Secretary General during his stay. If he resigned before hand, a replacement would have to be hastily appointed.

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