Herzog: I won’t join a national unity gov’t

Uriel Heilman

(JTA) — Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog said he will lead the opposition rather than join a national unity government with Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party.

“We will be an appropriate, real alternative in all areas and all subjects to this extreme-right government whose days are numbered,” Herzog said at a party meeting Wednesday, a day after his party finished with 24 seats in Israel’s elections, behind Likud’s 30.

The election winner must assemble a coalition of at least 61 seats in the 120-seat Knesset in order to obtain a ruling majority and become prime minister. The right-wing and Orthodox camp won at least 57 seats, and the center-right Kulanu party, led by ex-Likudnik Moshe Kachlon, won an additional 10 seats.

Herzog said his party would continue to lead the camp of those who want a state that is “Jewish, democratic, secure and just.”

His campaign partner, Tzipi Livni, said the battle was not over.

“There are two paths with different values: one path of Netanyahu and his partners, and the other of ours and our natural partners,” she said. “We will continue to represent our path. Hope is not lost.”