Channel 2 sprung a surprise debate on PM Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu against Zionist Union (Labor) chief MK Yitzchak “Buji” Herzog on Channel 2’s live “Meet the Press” show.
Both party chiefs have said they want a debate, but Netanyahu made it clear that if Herzog wants a debate, it has to be simultaneously against both Herzog and Livni together, since Herzog and Livni are running as a team.
At the beginning of the show, the off-site Netanyahu was clearly not aware that his half-opponent Yitzchak Herzog was in the studio, and he thought he was simply going to be interviewed.
It appears that Herzog had some advance warning.
If you look carefully, you’ll note that Herzog is wearing an earpiece in his left ear, implying that someone may have been feeding him lines for either the interview or the debate.
Herzog was so excited to be debating Netanyahu, without co-Captain Tzipi Livni that he apparently didn’t realize when he mixed up Jerusalem with Netanyahu (time: 2:05) in his statement on who he would be protecting. That gave Netanyahu a chuckle.
While Netanyahu was clearly not expecting to be ambushed this way, he definitely came out on top, even when Channel 2 (time 3:20) lowered the volume on Netanyahu and raised the volume for Herzog’s interruption.
Surprisingly, the host rather rudely then cut off Herzog in mid-counterattack (time: 3:30) telling him his time in the studio was up, at which point, a clearly annoyed Herzog walked off the set. Netanyahu then continued the interview and also responded to Herzog’s question.