MK Yoel Hasson
MK Yoel HassonYonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Zionist Union MKs on Thursday clarified to party chairman Yitzhak Herzog that he does not have the mandate to sign an agreement with the Likud and join the coalition.

“The Likud has never joined a unity government, because that’s not how you replace the ruling party,” said MK Yoel Hasson, who added that there was never a real proposal presented to the Zionist Union to join a unity government, but rather the move was meant to enable Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to win a fifth term in office.

“I and the members of the party have no intention to take part in such a move,” he clarified.

“I'm glad Herzog buried the proposal and rejected it out of hand, and I trust that he will not take similar proposals into account in the future,” continued Hasson. “In a few days, when the Knesset’s summer session begins, important matters such as the budget and the natural gas plan will be discussed.”

“We must prepare properly for the upcoming session and ensure that we continue to propose a better alternative to the public, an alternative of real security, a fair economy and mending the rifts in society,” he added.

MK Erel Margalit, meanwhile, sent a letter to Netanyahu on Thursday evening, in which he clarified, “I will not join your extremist government. That will hold true whatever the decision of the members of my party.”

MK Stav Shaffir blasted the idea of her party entering the coalition, saying that doing so would be a “betrayal” to voters of the Labor party.

“We have been promising for a whole year that it’s either us or him. At no stage did we say ‘it’s us and also him.’ The very discussion about crawling into the government is embarrassing me,” Shaffir said, charging that the current government is the worst one in Israel’s history.

“Contrary to bad governments before it, this one is not satisfied with ruining the economy, with political negligence and carelessness on security, but is also responsible for the complete disintegration of the social fabric and the moral fiber of the people of Israel,” she said.

Earlier on Thursday, Herzog issued his list of terms for joining the Likud-led coalition.

"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.

Also on Thursday, former Labor party chairwoman MK Shelly Yechimovich voiced sharp criticism of the prospect of her party joining Likud's coalition, claiming she alone was responsible for blocking the merger.

"This is a proposal that should have been rejected with contempt a long time ago. Unfortunately that didn't happen," she said.

"In internal conversations I expressed my position in words that are many times sharper and sting more than what I'm writing here, and in effect I simply prevented this mistake," Yechimovich wrote in a paper distributed to her activists.