Netanyahu-Herzog Unity Gov't Not on the Horizon

Political sources reveal talks hit a loggerhead, with opposition by Livni and Yechimovich primary in fouling up anti-Iran deal move.

Hezki Baruch ,

Herzog and Netanyahu
Herzog and Netanyahu
Nati Shohat/Flash 90

Political sources on Friday said that talks between Yitzhak Herzog's Zionist Union party and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's Likud on forming a unity government have reached a loggerhead, after being launched in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal to present a united front against the agreement.

Netanyahu and Herzog are essentially interested in forming a unity government according to the sources cited by Channel 2, but great gaps exist between the sides regarding the fundamental policies of such a government, as well as over the portfolios that would be given to Zionist Union members.

In addition, MKs Tzipi Livni and Shelly Yechimovich of Herzog's party are leading a wide group within the party in opposing the establishment of a unity government with Likud.

It is estimated that their opposition will greatly decrease the chances of a unity government being formed anytime in the near future.

Meretz chairperson Zehava Galon claimed on Wednesday that Herzog is planning to join Netanyahu's government soon, claiming, "I know for a certainty that the Zionist Union is on its way to join the government, and the nuclear deal will only be the excuse."

The Zionist Union denied the claim, but a report in Haaretz on Thursday alleged that Herzog and Netanyahu are passing notes between themselves via President Reuven Rivlin.

Livni on Thursday morning ruled out a unity government, saying the party she co-chairs with Herzog will support efforts to fight the Iran deal from the Opposition.