Israeli Candidate for Prime Minister With Irish Roots Competes in St. Patrick’s Day Election
The head of Israel’s Zionist Union political alliance, Isaac Herzog, whose father was born in Ireland, may be positioned to become the Jewish state’s next prime minister when polls close in Israel’s general election today, St. Patrick’s Day.
Herzog’s grandfather, also called Isaac Herzog, was the first chief rabbi of Ireland, according to the Irish news website The Journal. The senior Herzog was fluent in Irish and was known as the “Sinn Féin Rabbi.” His term as chief rabbi lasted from 1921 to 1936, and he died in 1959.
His son, Chaim Herzog, was born in Belfast in 1918 and educated in Dublin. He later become Israel’s sixth president serving from 1983-1993.
The Israeli consulate and embassy in Ireland could not immediately be reached for comment but according to Ireland’s laws, the leading Israeli politician is eligible for Irish citizenship.
The latest polls showed the Zionist Union with a marginal three to four seat lead over the Likud party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu going into Tuesday’s election, The Journal reported.