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New Hope Party leader Gideon Saar campaigning in Ra'anana earlier this month
Photo: AFP
New Hope Party leader Gideon Saar campaigning in Ra'anana earlier this month

Saar's party to review ties with scandal-hit Lincoln Project

Party claims to be working with members of anti-Trump Republican group and not the organization itself, says it will review contractual agreement after organization rocked by sex harassment claims involving cofounder John Weaver

Associated Press |
Published: 02.16.21 , 15:05
A leading challenger to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in elections next month said Tuesday that he is reviewing his ties with the founders of the Lincoln Project -- a Republican group that opposed former president Donald Trump and whose leadership has been engulfed in a sexual harassment scandal.
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  • The New Hope party, headed by Netanyahu's former Likud rival Gideon Saar, hired several consultants from the Lincoln Project in January as campaign advisers in Israel's upcoming parliamentary election.
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    New Hope Party leader Gideon Saar campaigning in Ra'anana earlier this month
    (Photo: AFP)
    Last week, revelations surfaced that the Lincoln Project knew about allegations of sexual harassment involving John Weaver, one of its co-founders, several months before acknowledging them publicly.
    New Hope said that it had never worked directly with the Lincoln Project or Weaver, rather it had engaged four consultants from the organization: co-founders Steve Schmidt, Rick Wilson, Stuart Stevens and Reed Galen. Schmidt resigned from the Lincoln Project last week.
    "In any event, due to financial considerations, the contract with the consultants is under review, and in the coming days, we will examine the possibility of further cooperation," the party said.
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    L-R: Lincoln Project cofounders Rick Wilson, Reed Galen and Stuart Stevens
    L-R: Lincoln Project cofounders Rick Wilson, Reed Galen and Stuart Stevens
    L-R: Lincoln Project cofounders Rick Wilson, Reed Galen and Stuart Stevens
    (Photo: Screenshot/YouTube)
    Saar's New Hope party, a hardline nationalist faction made up mostly of former Netanyahu allies, seeks to unseat the longtime prime minister in the March 23 vote, Israel's fourth parliamentary election in four years. Saar charges that Likud has become the party of Netanyahu and has lost direction.
    Recent public opinion polls give Saar a projected 13 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, enough to pose an obstacle to Netanyahu's formation of a right-wing, religious governing coalition.
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