Gideon Sa'ar on Lecture Circuit at $2,000 a Pop

Former Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar has found a lucrative post-political career, offering an insider's account of what goes on 'behind the scenes in Israel's civil sector.'

Nir Kedar

Former Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar has a new job. Moments after resigning from political life, he has begun a new career as a lecturer for private events. The advertisements for his lectures state that he will talk about what goes on “behind the scenes in Israel’s civil sector” and describe “how he instituted huge reforms and significant changes for the public good.”

Sa’ar recently joined the Israel Speakers Center, one of the largest companies in Israel marketing lectures and lecturers, and his picture is featured on its website. Israel Speakers Center officials said Sunday that the cost of an hour-and-a-quarter lecture by Sa’ar is 8,000 shekels (just over $2,000), but the price depends on the distance Sa’ar has to travel and the number of people who will be attending. The center represents another former Knesset member, Nino Abesadze of Kadima, who later joined Labor – but her lectures are priced at only 4,000 shekels.

The center’s website states that Sa’ar will talk about how he tried to make the length of summertime similar to that in Europe after decades of vigorous public controversy, how he instituted free public education for 3- and 4-year-olds a generation after the idea had been stalled, and how he reached an agreement with Ran Erez and the teachers’ union in the strike-ridden education system.

According to reports in the media from last month, Sa’ar has also been appointed as a consultant for the law firm of Gross, Kleinhendler, Hodak, Halevy, Greenberg & Co. Sa’ar held talks with the law office and also looked into other offers. A lawyer by profession, Sa’ar received 234,000 shekels upon retiring from the Knesset – an amount equivalent to six months’ salary for a Knesset member.

Elected to the Knesset in 2003, Gideon Sa’ar carries a policy for a cumulative pension. Because of that, he did not receive a retirement pension when he retired from the Knesset and from the government. He will receive one only when he reaches retirement age, 67.