Israel’s opposition leader backing Netanyahu on Iran deal


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The opposition leader in Israel said he is in agreement with the nation’s prime minister on the dangers of the final Iran nuclear deal.

“I have told Prime Minister Netanyahu that despite our disagreements, as a responsible leader of the opposition I will do all I can for the sake of Israel’s security,” Isaac Herzog of the Zionist Union party said in a statement after meeting Tuesday night with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “This is a bad agreement for Israel’s security both now and in the future.”

Herzog had previously criticized Netanyahu for allowing the deal to go through.

In a video posted on his Facebook page, Herzog said he would travel soon to the United States to discuss the deal and how the United States can provide Israel with a “security umbrella” to maintain its strategic advantage in the region. Herzog also said that he has spoken with officials from pro-Israel groups about the deal.

Netanyahu said in a statement after the meeting that “it is important to show the world a united front on this issue, which is linked to Israel’s most significant national interest.” But Herzog rejected calls for his party to join the government over the issue.

Speaking to the Knesset on Wednesday, Netanyhu asserted that the signed agreement “is not the final word. We will continue to fight.”

“When we examine this agreement — which is bad in every aspect — when we read this agreement, the picture becomes more bleak and we discover it’s filled with absurdities,” Netanyahu said.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on Tuesday said he would travel to Israel and personally brief Netanyahu on the deal in a meeting scheduled for Thursday. He told his Parliament that “Israel wants a permanent state of standoff and I don’t believe that’s in the interests of the region. I don’t believe it’s in our interest.”

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