Opposition leader wants Netanyahu replaced

2014-01-21 21:03
Israel’s opposition leader and Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Knesset, Israel's Parliament, in Jerusalem. (Ariel Schalit, AP)

Israel’s opposition leader and Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Knesset, Israel's Parliament, in Jerusalem. (Ariel Schalit, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Jerusalem - Israel's opposition leader said on Tuesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fully appreciates the wisdom of making peace with the Palestinians. He's just not sure he has the "guts".

Isaac Herzog, who was elected head of the Labor Party in November, said that his ultimate goal is to replace Netanyahu.

But he said he would back the prime minister if he genuinely pursues peace with the Palestinians and offered a political "safety net" should Netanyahu's right-leaning coalition rebel in case of substantial progress in recently restarted peace talks.

As opposition leader, Herzog meets privately at least once a month with Netanyahu. Asked about the talks, Herzog said he has found a leader who "understands the real risks" Israel faces without a peace deal. At the same time, he said wasn't sure Netanyahu "has the guts to do it".

"I am not sure that he has the political ability or that he feels he has the political ability," he told a group of foreign journalists. "I am trying to encourage him to be bold enough to take those steps." He declined to discuss specifics, saying the talks are private.

Talks restarted after stalemate

Under heavy American pressure, Israelis and Palestinians began talks last year July after years of stalemate. So far, there has been no outside sign of progress and the talks have been characterised by mutual mud-slinging. The sides have set an April target date for a "framework" agreement.

The Palestinians seek the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, territories captured by Israel in 1967, for an independent state.

While Netanyahu has reversed his long-standing objection to such a state, he remains opposed to many of the Palestinian parameters.

Netanyahu wants to keep parts of the West Bank and says he will not share control of east Jerusalem, home to sensitive Muslim, Jewish and Christian religious sites.

He also has insisted that the Palestinians recognise Israel as the Jewish homeland, a condition they say would undermine the rights of Palestinian refugees and Israel's own Arab minority.

Stalling tactics

The Palestinians have generally accused him of stalling and negotiating in bad faith, citing continued Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

On Tuesday, the anti-settlement Peace Now group said Israel had advanced preliminary plans to build 381 new homes in Givat Zeev, a settlement just outside of Jerusalem. Israeli defence officials involved in the decision did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

More than 500 000 Israelis live in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. The Palestinians and most of the West consider them to be illegal and an obstacle to peace, and US Secretary of State John Kerry has said the construction raises questions about Israel's seriousness.

Herzog said settlement construction "undermines" peace efforts and creates unnecessary friction. Even so, he said there was a "unique" and "golden opportunity" to reach peace at this time.

Herzog's Labor Party controls 15 of the 120 parliament seats - making it the largest of the 12 parties in parliament that have not joined Netanyahu's coalition. He vowed his party would stand by Netanyahu at a time when members of his own nationalist Likud party have tried to shackle the prime minister's efforts.

"However, if we will be unfortunate and there will be no progress, I definitely see that we will replace the government and quicker than people project," he said. "He [Netanyahu] has to decide if he is a leader or a politician."

- AP
Read more on:    benjamin netanyahu  |  israel  |  palestine
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
12 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Your sense of duty is emphasized and you may put your heart and soul into helping, serving and being there for the community in a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.