April 14, 2024
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Netanyahu Poised to Welcome Former Rival Sa’ar Into War Cabinet

(Israel Hayom via JNS) Israeli Minister-without-Portfolio Gideon Sa’ar announced Tuesday, March 12 that his New Hope Party will no longer be part of the alliance with Benny Gantz’s Blue and White, essentially dissolving the Knesset entity called the National Unity Party, which was part of the center-left bloc in the 2022 election.

Sa’ar, who joined the emergency government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu together with senior members of the National Unity Party shortly after the Oct. 7 atrocities, said he would now seek to have his separate faction get its proper representation by being appointed to the War Cabinet.

Sa’ar will be joined by lawmakers Yifat Shasha-Biton, Ze’ev Elkin and Sharren Haskel, who joined the National Unity Party along with him.

Likud Party sources said it was unlikely that his announcement was coordinated with Netanyahu. However, sources in the Likud believe that Netanyahu’s response will be positive since Sa’ar is now providing a right-wing insurance certificate for the government during the war.

“I respect my friends, the representatives of the National Unity Party in the War Cabinet,” said Sa’ar, referring to Blue and White leaders Benny Gantz and Gadi Eizenkot, “but unfortunately they do not express the voice, positions and emphases that I would have brought. Therefore, on your behalf, I express here our demand to join the War Cabinet and be part of the influence on policy.”

Regarding a possible return to Likud, Sa’ar said the following: “No. I left Likud on December 8, 2020. Everything I said then is even more true today. New Hope is a national-statist right-wing party, expressing the values of Likud as they were during the time of [Prime Ministers] Yitzhak Shamir and Menachem Begin, and I will continue to lead it in this way.”

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