Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is up for re-election Tuesday, and recent polls suggest that his path to victory will not be easy. In fact, “Bibi” might be replaced by “Bougie.”
Isaac Herzog, often referred to by his nickname “Bougie” in Israel, leads the left-of-center Zionist Union party.
In addition to serving in the Knesset—Israel’s parliament—Herzog has worked as chairman of the Israel Anti-Drug Authority, minister of housing and construction, minister of tourism, minister of the diaspora, society and the fight against anti-semitism, and the minister of welfare and social services.
Herzog comes from a politically powerful family whose members have served as chief rabbi of Israel, foreign minister, president, and head of Israel Defense Forces Intelligence.
According to Herzog’s biography, in 1975, while his father served as Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, his family briefly moved to New York.
Herzog studied at both Cornell University and New York University before returning to Israel in 1978. He went on to study law at Tel Aviv University.
Herzog’s campaign has focused more on socioeconomic issues facing Israel than external threats.
According to USA Today, Herzog is running on a platform promising to “pursue social and economic justice for Israelis and Palestinians.”
Unlike Netanyahu, Herzog supports a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Under Herzog’s proposal, Jerusalem would remain Israel’s capital.
Herzog told The Atlantic that he opposes a nuclear Iran, but “I trust the Obama administration to get a good deal.”
Here’s what Herzog had to say to English-speaking voters in a video released by his party:
Alan Elsner, the vice president for communications at the left-leaning J Street, told The Daily Signal that if Herzog were to become prime minister, it would represent a “historic turning point” for Israel, and would usher in the sense of “a new generation rising.”
Elsner said that Netanyahu is “leading Israel into isolation,” while Herzog is interested in “social justice” and making sure Israel is “connected to the global economy.”
“[Herzog] has shown himself to be very level-headed and sensible,” Elsner said, adding that the notion that “Netanyahu is the only one who can protect Israel” is a “myth.”
Here’s what people are saying about Herzog on Twitter:
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) March 10, 2015
Buji Herzog, Bibi’s opponent, had this to say about Iran: “I trust the Obama Administration to get a good deal.” http://t.co/UNW3gJvxNQ
— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) March 16, 2015
— Ron Fournier (@ron_fournier) March 16, 2015
72% of Israelis in new poll say they want change. Netanyahu falls further behind opposition leader Isaac Herzog. pic.twitter.com/Aseiu4eC1V
— John Nichols (@NicholsUprising) March 13, 2015
Isaac Herzog ( Bibi’s opponent ) said Netanyahu’s loathing and hostility for Pres Barack Obama, is Netanyahu’s greatest failure..
— patti (@utbrp) March 12, 2015