Israel’s former president and prime minister Shimon Peres came out for the Zionist Camp’s Isaac Herzog for prime minister on Thursday.
Peres, who waited until the last week before elections, endorsed Herzog as a “levelheaded leader who is reliable, and full of responsibility and dedication to the Israeli public.”
“It’s natural that people will have different opinions and vote according to their conscience. As for me — I support Isaac Herzog for the premiership,” he said.
Likud officials tried immediately to turn the endorsement into a liability, as it issued a statement saying: “It’s obvious that Peres, an avowed leftist, supports Boujie and Tzipi [Herzog and Livni]. He is the architect of the Oslo Accords, an enthusiastic supporter of the disengagement, and a proponent of withdrawal from Yehudah and Shomron.”
Peres did not mention Tzipi Livni, the party’s no. 2, who according to a pre-election agreement will rotate the premiership with Herzog if the party wins and forms the next government.
Herzog also got a grudging thumbs-up from LO Central Committee member Mustafa Barghouti, who said Thursday that the aspiration of “all of us” at the Palestinian Authority is that Prime Minister “Binyamin Netanyahu will fall and his rule come to an end.”
However, Barghouti added that “we unfortunately cannot see much difference between Netanyahu’s Likud and [Isaac] Herzog and [Tzipi] Livni when it comes to the Palestinian issue.”