Herzog threatens his own party for investigation

Labor head claims corruption investigation is being used as part of an 'election campaign,' threatens: 'I'm no sucker, I know how to kick.'

Hezki Baruch ,

Yitzhak Herzog
Yitzhak Herzog
Tomer Neuberg/Flash 90

Opposition chair and Zionist Union head MK Yitzhak Herzog issued a statement on Thursday about the corruption investigation being led by police against him, which was revealed the day before.

Herzog is suspected of accepting illegal donations while running for the leadership of the Labor party in 2013. On Tuesday night, it was revealed that Shas chairperson and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri is also being investigated.

"I propose to everyone not to get too excited," said Herzog. "Every time before general or internal elections there are political sources who try to bring us down and turn the police into part of the campaigns they are trying to wage at our expense."

Herzog's comments would seem to echo those of his chief of staff Eyal Shviki, who earlier on Thursday indicated that politicians within the Labor faction of the Zionist Union party are behind the investigation.

The Labor head continued, saying, "we know this path well, we have dealt with it in the past and we will respond forcefully to any attempt to turn the police into part of an election campaign of any sort."

Herzog sharpened his tone, saying, "we are not suckers, and we understand well why it is happening, and the one who did it will receive a political kick that will teach him a lesson for many years."

"Listen, I'm not afraid of any check or any investigation and I will cooperate with every process. After all it is clear this is unfounded slander meant only to try and deter me from competing and leading the Zionist Union, and to lure me from the path we march on so as to change the dangerous direction (Binyamin) Netanyahu and the radical right are leading us."

Herzog's promises of cooperating with the investigation are somewhat ironic, given 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. In the case Herzog maintained his right to silence, forcing the attorney general to close the case against him due to a lack of evidence. 

Likewise Herzog was accused of another funding scandal in the elections last March with the foreign funded V-15 group, and Herzog again kept silent.

The Labor party head promised on Thursday: "I will compete, and I will lead and I will win, and we will make sure that the one who acts through these methods will be exposed and will be sorry for the moment he chose this path."

"Throughout the years, I proved to everybody, in our party and in the public, that I am not a sucker and I know to kick when needed. In the general elections I brought a number of mandates that no one dreamed I would bring. I propose not to be mistaken by my smile. Those who try to harm me, those who try to harm us, will take a blow they won't forget," he concluded threateningly.