PM Accuses Herzog, Livni of Backstabbing

Prime Minister blasts Labor leader for weakness in the face of international pressure in TV confrontation, Herzog says PM is the weak one.

Gil Ronen,

Herzog or Netanyahu - who will come out top on March 17?
Herzog or Netanyahu - who will come out top on March 17?
Reuters

 

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu accused Labor leader Yitzhak Herzog of weakness in a short, three-minute live televised confrontation Saturday evening on Channel 2.

Netanyahu, who was not in the studio and was seen on a screen, asked Herzog why he and Tzipi Livni spoke out against Israel's construction in Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem a few months ago, and why they refuse to support the security efforts by Netanyahu's government, on Iran's nuclear weapons program and other issues. “They don't voice support. They are always stabbing, and refuse to stand behind the efforts we are leading... They are always finding excuses not to support,” he accused.

Netanyahu asked: "If Jews may not build in Jerusalem, where may they build?”

Herzog retorted that “Israel's security is dear to our hearts, more than anything else. We knew how to safeguard it and I will know how to safeguard it.” He added that Netanyahu is the one who is placing Jerusalem on the chopping block, through his policies.

Netanyahu fired back that Herzog and Livni's “real policy" is "to surrender to every dictate.”

"Someone in the international community demands something? They immediately bow their heads and say OK, we'll fold, we'll retreat. Because they are unable to really make a stand and take a real stand on our vital interests," he accused.

Herzog and Livni are good at "talking and boasting," he added.

Herzog replied: "The international community knows that you are weak and does not accept your positions, and the Palestinians "turn to the international community because they identify your weakness." Netanyahu spoke at the same time but his microphone's volume was turned down in a way that made his words hard to discern.

Netanyahu has refused to conduct a televised debate with Herzog unless Herzog's running mate, Tzipi Livni, also takes part. Herzog does not want Livni to take part, even though the two have a rotation agreement. 

At one point in the short confrontation, Herzog said that he will "keep Netanyahu united," exchanging the prime minister's name with that of the capital. Herzog did not notice his mistake, and Netanyahu reacted with a broad grin.




top