Herzog speaking at Rabin memorial
Herzog speaking at Rabin memorialMiriam Alster/Flash 90

Opposition leader and Zionist Union chairman MK Yitzhak Herzog declared on Saturday night that he would no longer be holding any talks with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu about the possibility of a unity government.

"In recent days all the red lines were crossed," said Herzog at a rally in memory of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin at the Rabin Square in Tel Aviv. “When I see that the Prime Minister has declared war on democracy, I tell him today, ‘Netanyahu, you’ve gone far enough – the time for dialogue, the time for a unity government have passed.’ In a place where journalists are silenced – teachers will also be silenced. In a place where army officers are silenced – judges will also be silenced. In a place where elected officials are silenced – citizens will also be silenced.”

"When a bunch of crazy criminals call [former Defense Minister Moshe] Ya’alon a ‘stupid dog’, [Netanyahu] sits at home and remains silent,” charged Herzog. “When a bully wishes for the death of [journalist] Amnon Abramovich, a disabled war veteran, he sits at home and remains silent. When his coalition chairman does not hesitate to say that Rabin's murder was not a political assassination, he sits at home and remains silent. We will not allow any leader to continue to incite.”

Netanyahu tried to convince Herzog to join the coalition several months ago, but the talks on a unity government reportedly fizzled over Herzog's demand for a unilateral division of Jerusalem, among other things.

Eventually, Netanyahu added Yisrael Beytenu to the coalition, appointing its chairman Avigdor Liberman to the position of Defense Minister.

However, in recent weeks there have been several media reports of renewed coalition talks between Likud and the Zionist Union.

According to one of those reports, Netanyahu agreed during negotiations with Herzog to freeze construction in Judea and Samaria. The Prime Minister’s Office denied the report.

Herzog rejected the most recent reports that talks took place over the Rosh Hashanah holiday, but at the time also refused to commit to not entering Netanyahu's coalition.

On Saturday, Likud Minister Ze’ev Elkin welcomed Herzog’s declaration that he would no longer hold talks with Netanyahu.

"Herzog said that the time for talks on a unity government has ended. Good riddance! So there was dialogue in recent months? Despite the denials after Rosh Hashanah? Confused? So are we," Elkin tweeted.