Herzog and Netanyahu (archive)
Herzog and Netanyahu (archive) Nati Shohat/Flash 90

Opposition head Yitzchak Herzog opened the Zionist Union faction meeting today by addressing the comments made by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon to the effect that the government needs a vacation before it ends up institutionalized.

"They say that the Opposition never backs up the government or agrees with it. Well, this time there is consensus and understanding. Vacation or institutionalization, in whatever order, it doesn't matter," Herzog offered.

The Opposition leader then turned to comments quoted in the media as having been said by Minister Miri Regev and Coalition Chairman David Bitan: "What good does a broadcasting corporation do if we can't control it?", and "the press is too free."

"These aren't just slips of the tongue or mistakes. This is what Netanyahu actually thinks. This is what he expects them to say," Herzog claimed, "Netanyahu is trying to become an Israeli Fidel Castro.

"He wants to create a subservient and submissive media, to turn "Yediot Aharonot" ["Recent News"] into "Yediot Netanyahu" [Netanyahu's News"], to make Army Radio into Netanyahu Radio, and to turn the television news agencies into the Netanyahu office news, and all in order to convert Israel into a monarchical government in which the heads of all security agencies will have to pass tests of loyalty to the king and his cronies and Justices will be obligated to rule according to his whims," Herzog added.

"The free press and the right of free speech are principle that are more strong, important, and deep than Netanyahu, Regev, and Bitan's political fancies. And just like we were able to stop their wild overreaching in the Finance Committee last week we'll be able to stop their war against Israeli democracy."

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