Herzog: Everything is Open

'I intend to make every effort to build a real social government in Israel," Labor leader says.

Gil Ronen,

Yitzhak Herzog
Yitzhak Herzog
Tomer Neuberg/Flash 90

Zionist Union leader Yitzhak Herzog said Wednesday he is still in the race to form Israel's next government after exit polls showed a last-minute surge by Likud, leaving the two parties neck-and-neck.

"Everything is open," he told activists in Tel Aviv after analysts said Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would have a far easier task of putting
together a 61-seat majority than Herzog.

"I intend to make every effort to build a real social government in Israel," Herzog said.

MK Shelly Yechimovich (Labor) said after election exit polls were announced Tuesday night that while establishing a Labor government appears like a “near impossible” task, it can happen.

Yechimovich mentioned Meretz, Yesh Atid, Moshe Kahlon's Kulanu, as well as Shas, as possible coalition partners. According to the results predicted by the exit polls, this combination would yield about 60 MKs.

She said that Labor currently has 56 to 57 MKs who will recommend him to the president – including the Joint Arab List.

Kahlon, she said, should not be assumed to be “in Netanyahu's pocket.”

She noted that in Israeli elections, initial results are often contradicted by the final results, and what seems impossible at first becomes possible.

Strategist Reuven Adler, who ran Labor's campaign, said that a Labor coalition appears impossible. “In one day, something impossible happened, but it is apparently possible,” he told Channel 1 – referring to the surprising comeback by Netanyahu.