Opposition Leader Herzog: Arab Nations Willing to Work with Israel

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HERZLIYA – Opposition leader Isaac Herzog slammed the governing coalition on Thursday, referring to the Netanyahu-led government as “Sponge Bob leaders,” while stating some in the Arab world are ready to work with Israel.

“Even I thought we were getting a bunch of heroes with super powers – but turns out that we got Sponge Bob leaders,” MK Herzog (Zionist Union) said during the Herzliya Conference, attended by this reporter.

“What is the greatest mistake of the right wing government? That there is no real left-wing to blame,” he added, and listed all the ministerial positions – including prime minister, defense minister, education minister, and justice minister – currently held by right-wing politicians.

“Now there is no one on the left to litter the agenda!” he quipped.

Herzog criticized the government for not taking advantage of a “golden opportunity” to begin negotiations with the Palestinians.  This as the Palestinian Authority has refused Netanyahu’s repeated offers to start talks.

Herzog explained that, today, Sunni leaders of Arab nations do not possess the same hostility of their predecessors towards Israel.

“They are bolder, younger, more independent and willing to work with Israel, as long as it serves their national interests. These leaders are willing to engage on issues important for both sides,” said Herzog, adding that the time is ripe for collaboration with moderate Arab states.

He urged the United States to take the lead alongside the international community.

“With bold leadership and bold steps, we can realize this opportunity and create a better future for us and for our children. I and my partners in the Zionist camp see this as a window of opportunity that could ultimately bring about a two-state solution,” he said.