JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog quashed rumors that he would join the government in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal.
“Benjamin Netanyahu must be replaced. He needs to be sent home. I’m saying no to crawling into Netanyahu’s extremist right government,” Herzog said Sunday at a Labor Party meeting.
Herzog is head of the Zionist Union, made up of his Labor Party and Tzipi Livni’s Hatnuah.
“We must not give [the government] a lifeline. We must replace it, today, tomorrow, as soon as possible,” he said.
Herzog also criticized the Netanyahu government for failing to prevent the deal over Iran’s nuclear program.
“I say no to bolstering the Iranian reign of terror. No to the failed Netanyahu government that failed to prevent this bad agreement. Yes to rehabilitating our relationship with the United States, which Bibi destroyed,” he said.
In a meeting last week with Netanyahu, Herzog said he was in agreement with the prime minister against the deal and said he would “do all I can for the sake of Israel’s security.”
Herzog said in a video posted on his Facebook page following the meeting that he would travel soon to the United States to discuss the deal and how the U.S. can provide Israel with a “security umbrella” to maintain its strategic advantage in the region.
Also Monday, opposition Yesh Atid party head Yair Lapid slammed Netanyahu.
“The U.N. will approve the Iran deal today because Israel had no influence,” Lapid said. “This is the nadir in Israeli diplomacy since the founding of the State and Netanyahu refuses to take any responsibility. Has he really not made any mistakes at all?”
Lapid called for a public commission of inquiry into the government’s failure to halt the deal.