The Israeli Opposition has come under strain from Isaac Herzog’s apparent abandonment of the two-state solution, the cherished goal of the center-left for years.
“Buji, you are not my opposition leader,” Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-On declared, using Herzog’s nickname. “At this time, when the public needs nothing more than hope, than an alternative to [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s lack of a solution, you are giving up on the two-state solution? You’re calling the peace process just talk?” she was quoted by The Jerusalem Post as saying.
Gal-On accused Herzog of “forgetting the meaning of being the opposition” because he is too busy “trying to gather votes from the Right.”
A few days ago in Paris, Herzog proposed to French President Francois Hollande a plan for the separation of Israelis and Palestinians in Yehudah and Shomron, in recognition that a final status agreement providing a state for the Palestinians was not now in reach.
Gal-On’s comment followed a sharp rejection of Herzog’s initiative by Shelly Yacimovich, a senior MK in his own Zionist Camp party.
In the Knesset, Herzog denied abandoning the two-state solution, but appealed for a more pragmatic approach.
“I call on the citizens of the state to come and change the direction the country is in. We must start urgently, and first and foremost, what I was talking about is a separation from the Palestinians to ensure the implementation of the vision of two states. To ensure the Jewish State will exist, there is no choice but to take steps that will separate us from them and to stop the dangerous slide towards one state for two peoples,” he said.
The opposition leader accused Gal-On of “repeating slogans from the nineties,” and said that she should be more connected to reality.