Netanyahu and Herzog discuss unity government

Prime Minister and opposition leader speak again about the possibility of the Zionist Union joining the coalition.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Yitzhak Herzog, Binyamin Netanyahu
Yitzhak Herzog, Binyamin Netanyahu
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and opposition leader MK Yitzhak Herzog, head of the Zionist Union, spoke by phone on Friday about the possibility of the Zionist Union joining the coalition, Channel 10 News’ Ben Caspit revealed.

Caspit also revealed that the conversation between the two was mediated by Finance Minister and Kulanu chairman Moshe Kahlon, who is one of the strongest advocates for a broad coalition, and has been reportedly pressuring Netanyahu to add the Zionist Union.

Both Netanyahu and Herzog’s offices said in response to the Channel 10 report that the conversation between the two dealt with security-related issues.

On Thursday, Herzog issued his list of terms for joining the Likud-led coalition, though he also stated that rumors of a breakthrough in talks for a unity government were premature.

"If I receive the mandate to stop the next funeral procession and curb the dangers of an international boycott, to return the United States and Europe into being allies, to open negotiations with neighboring states and to separate from the Palestinians in two states in order to halt the constant terrorism - then I will know that my hands are holding the steering wheel," he wrote.

"If I receive the mandate to bring down the cost of living, to protect the public from the gas deal, to safeguard the Supreme Court, to cast to the winds all the despicable racist legislation - when that happens I will know my hands are holding the steering wheel," he continued.

But Herzog has also faced opposition from within his own party to joining the coalition, with a group of MKs informing him on Thursday that he does not have the mandate to sign an agreement with the Likud and join the coalition, and declaring they would not be part of the coalition even if he decides to enter.

In the meantime, the Likud hinted on Thursday night that it would turn to Yisrael Beytenu to join the coalition due to the stalemate in talks with the Zionist Union.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)