Peres endorses Isaac Herzog as Israel’s next PM

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s former president Shimon Peres endorsed the Zionist Union’s Isaac Herzog as prime minister.

“The Israeli democracy is approaching the day of choice. It is natural that people will have differing opinions and that they will vote according to their conscience. As for me, I support Issac Herzog to be prime minister,” Peres, who also served as the country’s prime minister, said in a statement issued Thursday.

Herzog, head of the Labor Party, joined in the election with former Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and her center-left Hatnua party. The two party leaders would rotate the prime ministership if their union is chosen to form a new government,

The Zionist Union is currently the frontrunner in polling, by three to four seats, ahead of the March 17 national election.

Peres in his statement called Herzog, whose father Chaim was the country’s sixth president, a “levelheaded leader who is reliable, and full of responsibility and dedication to the Israeli public.” He did not mention Livni.