Gideon Sa’ar announces return to politics

Former Likud minister Gideon Sa’ar announces his political comeback at the party’s headquarters in the northern city of Acre. Widely seen as a major potential challenger to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from within the ranks of the Likud, Sa’ar resigned from the Knesset in October 2014, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.

Speaking to Likud members and activists at a pre-Passover toast, Sa’ar says, “I came here this evening to say to you: break’s over.”

“I am returning to public and political life, for the sake of the Likud, for the sake of the people of Israel and for the sake of the state. My goal is to strengthen the Likud in the face of its challenges and to ensure that the Likud is the party of the future,” he says.

Gideon Saar announcing his political comeback in Acre on April 3, 2017. (screen capture: Channel 2)
Gideon Saar announcing his political comeback in Acre on April 3, 2017. (Screen capture: Channel 2)

In a possible veiled criticism of Netanyahu’s recent decision to limit settlement building at the request of the US administration, Sa’ar said the upcoming Passover festival, also known as “the festival of freedom,” was a time for introspection about the future of the Likud party and the country.

“We must ask ourselves: Who are we? As a country, as a people, as the Likud,” he said. “We can sense a danger of a return to the same old demand of Israel to withdraw to the ’67 borders, something that we believe, and have always believed, would be a great danger to Israel and a danger to its security. In the face of this challenge, we must strengthen the country and strengthen the Likud as the central national political party in Israel.”

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