Referring to the Jewish fast day commemorating the destruction of both Temples marked on Saturday evening, Herzog said that no previous Israeli leader has turned the “Tisha B’Av syndrome,” a permanent threat of annihilation, into his main political tool like Netanyahu has.
Netanyahu has been “dripping deep anxiety into the hearts of the people, consistently for years, with the same rhetoric, causing an imbalance in our national feelings. This has to stop, this has to change,” Herzog wrote in the post.
Comparing Israel to a ship and Netanyahu to its captain, Herzog said that instead of steering Israel to seek its interests – seeking peace with its neighbors, regional alliances and strong ties with the U.S., among other things – he is instead “signaling his passengers in a panic.”
“Israel needs someone to lead it, not someone to scare it,” Herzog said, adding that though he recognizes the serious threats facing Israel, they must be viewed in a responsible and less anxious manner. Herzog concluded by warning against the serious danger posed by an “irresponsible leadership which has no initiative and doesn’t change reality.”
Last week, Herzog rejected rumors that he was in talks with Netanyahu over the possibility of joining his government against the backdrop of the Iran nuclear deal, and said that his faction would support the premier’s opposition to the deal from the outside.
“This government needs to be replaced,” he said. “Benjamin Netanyahu needs to be replaced. He needs to be sent home.”
Senior officials from both Zionist Unionhttp://www.haaretz.com/news/israel/.premium-1.667496 and Likud have confirmed that over the past few months, the parties have discussed the possibility of Zionist Union joining the government. But in his speech to the convention, Herzog was unequivocal: “I say no to crawling into Netanyahu’s extreme right-wing government.”