Herzog Disavows Spokesman’s Anti-Settler Rant

YERUSHALAYIM -
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Camp) disavowed on Sunday a venomous outpouring against Jews living in Yehudah and Shomron publicized by a spokesman.

Ofer Newman, who works for Herzog, labeled residents of Yehudah and Shomron as “lowly murderers” who “built swimming pools on the blood of murdered children.”

The statement was made in response to a special broadcast about the Jews living in the region.

Newman claimed that it “is painful and terrifying proof of this simple fact: the people who are destroying our future have won without a fight. People thought they are crazy. They laughed at them.”

“You belong in jail!’” he declared.

He attached a disclaimer saying that this was his opinion and did not represent the Zionist Camp or Herzog, but the latter felt it necessary to censure him.

Herzog called the statement “very critical, very blunt and very mistaken, because it creates a generalization that I am unwilling to accept and uses imagery that we may never use.

“I meet settlers almost every day, the Labor Party encouraged and built part of [these communities], and even if we have criticism of the leadership, they will always be our brothers and part of our family,” Herzog wrote.

Herzog said he had a “difficult talk” with Newman, not about his political opinion, but about the use of generalizations and “inappropriate imagery.”

Newman later apologized for his remarks, saying it was a mistake, and that whatever his political views they should not be expressed in such a manner.