Middle East

Israel opposition chief under fire for 'Arab lovers' remarks

Israel's opposition leader Isaac Herzog has come under fire for saying his party can't be perceived as "Arab lovers" if it wants to reach more voters.

Lawmaker Ayman Odeh from the Joint Arab List posted on Facebook Wednesday that Herzog should step down to make way for a "real and brave alternative" to the current nationalist government.

Other lawmakers from across Israel's political spectrum also slammed Herzog's comments from a party event on Tuesday. Herzog discussed how his centrist Zionist Union could appeal to increasingly right-leaning Israelis "without giving a feeling ... that we are always Arab lovers."

Herzog has since sought to clarify his comments. He says he seeks to appeal to voters who mistakenly perceive the party as caring more for Palestinian rather than Israeli needs.