'I'm a Man of My Word': Sa'ar Rules Out Rotation Deal With Netanyahu

In an interview with Israel's Channel 12 News, the New Hope party chief firmly vows that sitting in a government with Netanyahu is off the cards

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Sa'ar attends the Knesset's legislative committee in Jerusalem, 2020
Sa'ar attends the Knesset's legislative committee in Jerusalem, 2020Credit: Knesset Spokesperson / Adina Walman

Head of the New Hope party, Gideon Sa'ar, said Sunday that he would not agree to join a government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even if he was offered a rotation deal for the premiership – like the arrangement that Defense Minister Benny Gantz made with Netanyahu in the last election cycle.

In an interview with Israel’s Channel 12 news Sa'ar said: "It's illegitimate, in my eyes, to crawl into a government that you were publicly claiming would be harmful to the nation just a moment earlier. And so it won't happen, not if Netanyahu is the candidate for prime minister, not in a rotation deal, not in any other configuration."

"I'm known as a man of his word," Sa'ar added, "there won't be any change in my position on this matter; it's a waste of time." 

Sa'ar continued, "I think that we need to replace Netanyahu, I believe that the public is in favor of replacing Netanyahu, and I present my candidacy as an alternative."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and New Hope's Gideon Sa'ar (R)Credit: Gil Cohen Magen

Sa'ar was also asked about sitting with left-wing Meretz in a coalition and replied that he does not "rule out any Zionist party that sees a Jewish and Democratic nation as the founding principle of the State of Israel. " 

Sa'ar added that a partnership with Meretz "doesn't seem reasonable to me due to massive differences in worldview. Not just because Meretz has not been part of any coalition for 20 years – not the ones led by Likud and not the one led by Kadima."

Sa'ar left Likud last month and has since been joined by former Likud lawmakers Ze'ev Elkin, Michal Shir and Sharren Haskel, as well as Yifat Shasha-Biton, who was a representative for Kulanu on the Likud slate. Sa'ar has also been joined by Zvi Hauser and Yoaz Hendel from Derech Eretz. Today Sa'ar presented his plan for the judicial system, which includes splitting the responsibilities of the government's legal advisor and public hearings for judges.

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