Hanegbi to Herzog: Join the government

Likud Minister calls on opposition leader to join the coalition, says there are no significant gaps between the Likud and the Zionist Union.

Hezki Baruch ,

Minister Tzachi Hanegbi
Minister Tzachi Hanegbi
Hezki Baruch

Minister Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) on Tuesday called on opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog, head of the Zionist Union party, to join Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government.

“I hope we join forces in the fourth Netanyahu government," Hanegbi, who spoke at the Israel Bar Association conference, said, adding, “And if not in the fourth, then in the fifth and in the sixth Netanyahu government, and despite the smile on your faces I'm being serious. I think it's time to see the rivalry between the parties in a new light.”

Hanegbi claimed that it is difficult to find many points of dispute between the government and the opposition on a variety of issues, bringing as an example the Iranian nuclear deal and the possibility of an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights

“Even on the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, I cannot find many disagreements between the opposition and the government,” he said.

“Even in the mini-intifada, which has almost disappeared, I have not seen sharp criticism from the opposition. Today the gaps are not significant. I hope the Palestinians, as Egypt and Jordan did, will return to the negotiating table and recognize the State of Israel,” continued Hanegbi.

“My position, as is the position of most of the public in spite of the media, is in favor of a unity government. Unity governments are more effective,” he stated.

Netanyahu worked hard 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.

The talks appeared to be over when Netanyahu joined forces with Yisrael Beytenu and Avigdor Liberman, but Herzog later hinted that his party would reconsider joining the coalition if Netanyahu ousted the Jewish Home from the government.

Recent reports, however, claimed that Netanyahu and Herzog had restarted the talks and had met one-on-one several times.

Both sides denied the report.