Yitzhak Herzog
Yitzhak Herzog Tomer Neuberg/Flash 90

Zionist Union chairman Yitzhak Herzog said Thursday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu should not count on him to bail out the government, especially since a coalition agreement has been signed.

“We will not be a fifth wheel and I do not intend to save Netanyahu from the pit he has dug for himself” when a coalition crisis arises as a result of a narrow 61-MK government, Herzog asserted. 

Earlier, a report said that just hours after closing a deal with Jewish Home, Netanyahu and top Likud officials were talking about the possibility of expanding the government – by bringing inZionist Union, or at least some of its MKs.

Netanyahu is set to swear in his government next Wednesday, but once it is established, he will immediately make an offer to Labor head Yitzhak Herzog, sources claimed.

According to those sources, Netanyahu is prepared to bring Herzog in on a rotation basis, giving up the top office in the last 18 or 12 months of his constituency.

A separate report Wednesday said that Netanyahu was “holding” the Foreign Ministry in reserve for Herzog.

Earlier in the week, Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett demanded the foreign affairs portfolio, after Yisrael Beytenu's Avigdor Liberman resigned the position and announced he would not be joining Netanyahu's new government. Netanyahu flatly turned down Bennett, who was offered the education portfolio instead.

On Wednesday, Herzog denied a Channel Two report that he had turned down an offer by Netanyahu to become Foreign Minister, calling reports of serious negotiations between himself and Netanyahu a "fairy tale."

Speaking on Thursday, Herzog said he expected the new government to greatly compromise the quality of life in Israel, damaging the economy, the rights of women, workers, the media, and the justice system, “by its actions, the insistence on not negotiating with the Palestinians, and by funneling billions of shekels to the settlements.”