Cracks are beginning to appear in what was a solid wall of support for Zionist Union chairman Yitzhak Herzog within his own party.
After an investigation in the campaign finances of the Zionist Union leader was announced last month, party MKs lined up behind Herzog.
But after police called on Israel’s Attorney General on Monday to upgrade the preliminary inquiry into a criminal investigation, some party members have begun quietly discussing replacements for the embattled chairman.
On Tuesday, MK Eyal Ben-Reuven (Zionist Camp), a retired Major General, was the first to publicly voice the concerns growing within his party.
Speaking on Israel Radio, Ben-Reuven suggested that the party suspend Herzog as chairman, at least temporarily.
“In order to maintain the highest ethical standards, I think that we need to consider [our] options; maybe not resignation, but some kind of suspension. Maintaining high ethical standards for the nation’s leaders is one of the most important issues for the Israeli government.”
Ben-Reuven was quick to emphasize that he remains strongly supportive of Herzog and hopes the current investigation ends without an indictment.
“I’m very hopeful that this whole storm will blow over soon. I know Herzog well, and he’s the furthest thing from a criminal, and I really, really hope that this whole thing ends as fast as possible.”
The Movement for Quality in Government echoed Ben-Reuven’s comments, calling upon Herzog to leave his position as Head of the Opposition and party chairman, at least until end of the current investigation.