Yitzhak Herzog
Yitzhak HerzogHadas Parush/Flash 90

Opposition head MK Yitzhak Herzog (Zionist Union) held a Labor faction meeting on Monday, in which he spoke about Avigdor Liberman's appointment as Defense Minister as part of his Yisrael Beytenu party joining the coalition government.

"I want to address the acting prime ministers: Naftali Bennett and (Avigdor) Yvet Liberman," he said cynically. "This is an historic day. A day in which the elected prime minister gives up his seat to the heads of the most radical parties so they can control from now on."

Herzog went on to define the new government as "a government in the spirit of the prophets' vision: the prophet (Baruch) Marzel and the prophet (Bentzi) Gopshtain," in reference to two prominent nationalist activists.

Ironically given Herzog's assertion, Marzel and Gopshtain have repeatedly condemned the government, clearly indicating it is not in line with their vision. Marzel just recently warned against Liberman's appointment, and both have been highly critical of Jewish Home head Bennett's policies.

Addressing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Herzog continued, saying, "from now on you are no longer the prime minister but rather the secretary of Naftali Liberman (Betzalel) Smotrich's government. You don't decided anything. You don't manage anything. You are a toy. You're a scarecrow. You're a prisoner."

"Two weeks ago you proposed to me to change the face of the state. To lead an historic diplomatic process," Herzog said, continuing to address Netanyahu and referencing their unity government talks.

"I was ready to sacrifice my political standing in order to change the reality and save hundreds of families who don't yet know their bitter fate from the journey of pain and tears, but in the moment of truth you got scared. Strong in slogans. Weak in leadership."

Herzog was not done with his diatribe against Netanyahu, adding: "they say that you are a magician. There's something to that. Every good thing that you touch disappears. The hope disappeared, the vision disappeared, (former Defense Minister Moshe) 'Boogie' (Ya'alon) disappeared. (Gideon) Sa'ar disappeared. (Avi) Gabay disappeared."

"And now you're dissipating in favor of leaders of the radical right-wing. This is the first time in history that the magician made himself disappear."

A call to bring down the coalition

In his speech Herzog also addressed Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu), calling for the former Likud minister to take his party out of the coalition government and bring it down.

"In this government only one man remains who will determine its fate and our fate. One man who was elected for his modesty and honesty, for his moderateness. For the hope he provided," he said.

"From here I extend my hand to you Moshe Kahlon. There are moments when a leader needs to put himself above the personal consideration, to dare to pay the heaviest price for his inner truth. This is your moment. The moment in which you will achieve great success and prevent the largest danger that ever stood at our doorstep."

Herzog said of Kahlon: "We spoke more than a little recently. I know how much you are worried and how good your intentions were. I know how much concern is in your heart. Moshe Kahlon, only you are able to make a moral decision. Don't hesitate any longer. This is your moment of truth."

The Opposition head concluded by addressing his Labor MKs in an effort to calm backlash over his unity talks with Netanyahu, saying, "their government is our opportunity - let us invest all the creativity and aggression we have directed at Netanyahu and his new government and not (directed) within the home, and one against the other."

"In teams and as a group in all fields, we will work together in one great and most important joint mission, to build an alternative," he concluded.

Herzog's unity talks with Netanyahu fizzled out amid the Labor party head's demand for a unilateral division of Jerusalem, among other things.