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Herzog plays the tough guy

Labor leader Isaac Herzog is convinced that to defeat the Likud Party at the next elections, Labor must embrace a more aggressive and assertive security image.
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There was a surprising statement on the evening of July 20 by Labor Party chairman Isaac Herzog. His assertion that “from a security perspective, the disengagement [from Gaza] was a mistake” received considerable interest, and rightfully so. Herzog, head of the Zionist Camp — a center-left electoral alliance between the Labor and Hatnua parties — and also chair of the opposition, made this comment to a right-wing audience at an event to mark 10 years to the disengagement. Thus, it seems that he continues his efforts to veer toward the political center with a wink to the right, and to rid his party of the left-wing image that has stuck to it over the past few years, and especially after the March 17 elections.

There was good reason that Herzog focused on the security angle, rather than the ideological angle, to explain why the 2005 Gaza disengagement was a mistake. According to all in-depth polls and focus groups conducted by the Labor Party both before and after the election, the party’s soft underbelly is the lack of a top-tier security figure in its ranks. Combined with its left-wing image and growing security threats, this means that it has a very slim chance of winning an Israeli election.

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