'Politicians have crossed a red line'

Herzog's chief of staff indicates police investigation against the party chair is an inside job by Labor members.

Hezki Baruch ,

Yitzhak Herzog
Yitzhak Herzog
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Eyal Shviki, the chief of staff for Zionist Union chairperson MK Yitzhak Herzog, spoke out Thursday about the corruption investigation led by police against Herzog.

Herzog was named on Wednesday as being the second senior politician under investigation, after the night before it was revealed that Shas chairperson and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri is also being investigated.

In comments on Twitter, Shviki spoke about those who may be behind the police investigation.

"The response of certain people testifies to the concern that political sources are crossing red lines and trying to use the police for political means," claimed Shviki.

"The voting public has already thrown out this path from the party, and will not hesitate to do so again," he added, indicating that politicians within the Labor faction of the Zionist Union party may be behind the investigation.

Herzog is suspected of accepting illegal donations while running for the leadership of the Labor party in 2013.

Last March, around the time of the last Knesset elections, then MK and current Culture Minister Miri Regev (Likud) called to investigate Herzog over a report, according to which Herzog paid a private company to launch a campaign against his predecessor MK Shelly Yechimovich, who he defeated in the 2013 Labor primaries.

Around the time of those primaries, Yechimovich wrote a sharp Facebook post against him saying the party wanted to "erase" him. She said he "destroyed the lives of hundreds of thousands of families in the state of Israel, and was even disqualified by the Movement for Quality Government from serving just as a minister."

Her comments noted on how the Movement for Quality Government (MQG) asked for Herzog to be removed back in 2005 when Ariel Sharon was prime minister. MQG determined that Herzog could not be appointed housing and construction minister due to his involvement in the 1999 "Amutot Barak" (Barak NGOs) scandal, in which it was charged that then Prime Minister Ehud Barak breached the party funding laws.

Herzog maintained his right to silence in the case, forcing the attorney general to close the case against him due to a lack of evidence. Ironically, Herzog was accused of another funding scandal in the elections last March with the foreign funded V-15 group, and Herzog again kept silent.