Tzipi Livni to return as opposition leader?

Outgoing opposition leader Isaac Herzog recommends Hatnuah leader Tzipi Livni replace him as leader of opposition.

David Rosenberg ,

Yitzhak Herzog, Tzipi Livni
Yitzhak Herzog, Tzipi Livni
Flash 90

Former Zionist Union chief and newly-elected leader of the Jewish Agency Isaac Herzog has recommended that former Kadima chairwoman and leader of the Hatnuah faction, Tzipi Livni, be tapped to replace him as Leader of the Opposition.

On Sunday, the Jewish Agency’s board of governors voted in favor of a recommendation to select Herzog as the new head of the organization, effective August 1st.

Herzog will replace refusenik and former minister Natan Sharansky, who led agency since June 2009.

Once the chief of the Zionist Union – a joint list comprising the Labor and Hatnuah parties – Herzog was ousted as chairman in 2017 by former Environmental Protection Minister Avi Gabbay.

Despite the loss, Herzog continued to serve as Leader of the Opposition – a position reserved for members of the Knesset – since Gabbay is not currently an MK.

Speaking with Israel Radio Monday, Herzog said the role of opposition leader should be filled not by the next most senior member of the Labor Party, but by Hantuah leader Tzipi Livni.

Once the chair of the Kadima party, Livni served as Leader of the Opposition following Binyamin Netanyahu’s return to power in 2009.

Ahead of the 2013 election, Livni formed the new Hatnuah faction, winning six seats. Livni and Herzog merged their two respective parties ahead of the 2015 election, forming the Zionist Union list. As part of the merger, the two leaders agreed to a rotational power-sharing agreement if the Zionist Union won the 2015 election, with Herzog serving as premier for two years, before handing off power to Livni.

In keeping with the spirit of the agreement, Herzog said Monday, Livni should be recognized as opposition leader.