Photo: Alex Kolmonski
Benjamin Netanyahu / Gideon Sa'ar
Photo: Alex Kolmonski

Former top Likud minister Sa'ar could try to oust Netanyahu

Former Likud strongman and ex-minister Gideon Sa'ar was approached by top party officials and asked to run for Likud's top spot, in hopes of replacing Netanyahu as party leader and maybe even prime minister.

Gideon Sa'ar is reportedly contemplating a quick return to politics only months after leaving the Likud and the interior ministry, as Israel heads to elections.



According to Likud affiliates, Sa'ar, who was once considered most likely to succeed Netanyahu and part of a new and young generation of Likud MKs, has not rejected the idea of competing in the party's primaries against Netanyahu for the Likud chairmanship.


Benjamin Netanyahu / Gideon Sa'ar (Photo: Alex Kolmonoski) (Photos: Alex Kolomoisky)
Benjamin Netanyahu / Gideon Sa'ar (Photo: Alex Kolmonoski)


Sa'ar sent the Israeli political world into a tailspin three months ago when he announced his surprising departure from political life, walking away from the Interior Ministry.


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"I am leaving my position (as minister and MK), but I am not leaving the Likud," Sa'ar said at the time, adding he would dedicate his near future to spending time with his family.


"Soon my son David will take his first steps, I want to be there and walk hand and hand with him," said Sa'ar, who recently remarried and had a son with TV anchor and journalist Geula Even after a divorce from his first wife, with whom he has two teenage children.


Sa'ar with son David at park (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
Sa'ar with son David at park (Photo: Motti Kimchi)


In the meantime, David, his son, has indeed started to walk, and Sa'ar seems to have made good on his promise – no small feat for a politician – during a walk in a Tel Aviv park two days ago.


That same day, a group of top Likud activists reportedly arrived at Sa'ar's Tel Aviv home and asked him to run against Netanyahu.


"We approached Gideon (Sa'ar) because our feeling is that if Netanyahu leads the Likud – like in 1999 and 2006 – we will lose the government," one Likud activist said.


"It is better to prevent such a scenario in advance. Gideon listened to us and did not reject the offer flat out. He said he would decide by the end of the weekend."


During his time as Interior Minister, Sa'ar caused public outrage over his decision to start handing out fines to Tel Aviv supermarkets that open on Shabbat. Sa'ar also had a long bitter relationship with Netanyahu which was only compounded when Sa'ar seemingly backed Yair Lapid's position to reign in the defense budget to support education and welfare.


Sa'ar for his part refused to comment on the report.


פרסום ראשון: 12.04.14, 21:31
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