Israeli Opposition Leader Calls On Netanyahu To Resign After Migrant Deal Flip-flop
Israeli Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to resign after the latter cancelled a deal with the United Nations that would have had Israel absorb half of its estimated 30,000-strong migrant population with the rest being relocated to Western countries. The premier, who announced the agreement to the public Monday afternoon, hastily froze the pact only six hours later—amid a fierce backlash from his coalition partners—before annulling it altogether Tuesday morning. “There is only one way to deal with the theater of the absurd that we have seen over the past day and that is to demand that the leading actor leave the stage,” Herzog said in reference to Netanyahu’s handling of the ordeal. The about-face generated widespread criticism across the Israeli political spectrum—as well as from a multitude of international organizations—including from some of Netanyahu’s staunchest supporters within his own Likud party. Moreover, the UN itself called on the Israeli premier to “reconsider” his decision, with a spokesperson for the body’s refugee agency stating that, “we continue to believe in the need for a win-win agreement that can benefit Israel, the international community and people needing asylum.” Meanwhile, multiple pro-migrant protests broke out in Tel Aviv following the reversal, with demonstrators chanting the now-common refrain: “Netanyahu, you are playing with our lives.” It is unclear where things go from here given that Israel’s High Court in March froze the government’s previous plan to deport all of the migrants to third-party African countries widely speculated to be Uganda and Rwanda.