Israel Elections: Bennett, Sa'ar up their rivalry

In a series of morning radio interviews, Bennett insulted Sa'ar and his party.

New Hope Party leader Gideon Sa'ar and Yamina Party leader Naftali Bennett. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
New Hope Party leader Gideon Sa'ar and Yamina Party leader Naftali Bennett.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The fight between Yamina leader Naftali Bennett and New Hope chairman Gideon Sa’ar intensified on Sunday, two days before Israelis go to the polls.
In a series of morning radio interviews, Bennett insulted Sa'ar and his party.
“New Hope is a fad party that, like Blue and White, will soon disappear,” said Bennett, who also referred to New Hope as a list of defectors from other parties.
Noting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to come to his house last Friday to get him to sign a loyalty oath, Bennett said he took it as a compliment and mocked Sa’ar.
“Netanyahu was going to come to protest outside my house on Friday and not Sa’ar’s, because New Hope is getting six seats and falling in internal polls,” Bennett said.
Yamina and New Hope received similar poll numbers in the last public surveys that were published before the election on Friday.
Sa’ar did not turn the other cheek. He released a video attacking Bennett for his refusal to join the anti-Netanyahu camp.
“Naftali, my friend, I call on you to declare tonight that you have decided to join a government of change after the election,” Sa’ar said in the interview. “After your announcement, we will meet and set all the issues. There are times in history, when if you don’t do the right thing, you regret it for the rest of your life. We are in such a moment.”
Sa’ar said Netanyahu was driving Israel to a new depth and Bennett was aware of it. He said Bennett would be attacked for such a decision, but it would still be right to do.
“Let’s make history together and change Israel’s fate,” Sa’ar said to Bennett in the video. “Together, we can decide the election and together, we can restore hope.”
The Likud attacked Bennett on Twitter on Sunday after Bennett challenged Netanyahu to a debate.
“Bennett, we only debate candidates for prime minister,” the Likud said. “Not candidates who shift votes from the Right to a government led by [opposition leader Yair] Lapid.”
Bennett signed a document ruling out joining a Lapid-led government on Sunday night.