Netanyahu challenger warns: With a third election, we will hand power to the left

Sa’ar said the law permits Netanyahu to serve as prime minister under an indictment, but what concerns him is Netanyahu’s failure twice to form a government.

By World Israel News Staff

Gideon Sa’ar, a former confidant of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who has now turned challenger, warned in a Saturday evening interview on Israel’s Channel 13 that a third election means a left-wing victory.

“We are in a situation in which we have a right-wing majority in the public, a right-wing majority in the Knesset — and yet the right-wing doesn’t succeed in forming a government. If we walk blindly to another election, we will, with our own hands, bring the left-wing to power,” Sa’ar said.

Sa’ar, who has been calling for Likud primaries and has presented himself as an alternative to Netanyahu, made it clear that he isn’t calling for Netanyahu’s ouster, only that he compete in primaries.

He said the law permits Netanyahu to serve as prime minister under an indictment, but what concerns him is Netanyahu’s failure twice to form a government.

“The question is if we to go to third elections and to continue to risk another dead-end and [more of] this craziness that harms the citizens of Israel. This will cost us in the pocketbook, in the cutting of social services and in taxes that will widen the rifts in society,” he said.

Sa’ar also said he is “100% satisfied with himself” over the decision to challenge Netanyahu, and the attacks from his own camp notwithstanding, he has received many words of encouragement and support.

Sa’ar has been vilified by Netanyahu loyalists as a traitor and back-stabber for challenging the prime minister at a time he is under fire by the Israeli State Attorney’s Office and faces indictment in three corruption cases.

Most Likud members view the charges as trumped-up – the effort of the left-wing to bring down arguably the most successful right-wing prime minister in Israeli history through the legal system because he appears unbeatable at the polls.

In an interview with Kan news, Sa’ar said, “If we don’t have snap primaries, the punishment won’t be for Gideon Sa’ar, the punishment will be for the nation of Israel.”

“A clear situation has been created in which the prime minister can’t form a government. Not the first time, not the second time, and when I look at the reality, I also don’t see how after a third election he’ll succeed,” Sa’ar said.