New Hope’s Sa’ar says he’ll make personal concessions to create right-wing bloc opposing government

Sam Sokol is the Times of Israel's political correspondent. He was previously a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Haaretz. He is the author of "Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews"

MKs Gideon Saar (left) and Yair Lapid at a debate in the Knesset plenum, Jerusalem, May 27, 2024. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
MKs Gideon Saar (left) and Yair Lapid at a debate in the Knesset plenum, Jerusalem, May 27, 2024. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

New Hope chairman Gideon Sa’ar says he is open to making concessions in order to establish a right-wing bloc in opposition to the current government.

“I support and gave expression to the establishment of a bloc of incumbent and new right-of-center parties,” Channel 14 quotes him telling an Israel Bar Association conference.

“It is natural to cooperate with MK Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party,” he says, less than a week after it was announced that the two factions would work together in submitting no-confidence motions against the government during the summer legislative session.

“We are right-wing parties in the opposition and in this we differ from other factions whose views on war are completely different from ours,” Sa’ar adds, explaining that establishing a new right-wing bloc would create a chance “to both change the government and lead Israel while facing major challenges.”

“I do not want to say that I have already given up my ego. I am saying simply that if the goal is important, I will make personal concessions for the sake of unity.”

Sa’ar, a former Likud minister, was pushed out of Likud after challenging Netanyahu for its leadership several years ago. His New Hope party, which has four seats in the Knesset, merged with Gantz’s Blue and White, which has eight, in July 2022.

Sa’ar announced his four-seat party’s departure from the coalition in March, two weeks after dissolving his political alliance with Benny Gantz, following the denial of his demand to be admitted to the high-level war cabinet.

Following Sa’ar’s split from Gantz, polls showed that the New Hope leader could struggle in elections despite positioning himself as an alternative leader of the “statesmanlike right.”

One survey in March found that if former prime minister Naftali Bennett and ex-Mossad chief Yossi Cohen were to join Sa’ar in forming a new party, the Bennett-Cohen-Sa’ar party and Likud would each take 17 seats in a new election.

Last night, centrist Opposition Leader Yair Lapid’s office announced that he would be meeting with both Liberman and Sa’ar tomorrow.

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