Prime ministerial candidate Gideon Sa’ar hired a team of American advisers who worked for Republicans who opposed outgoing US President Donald Trump, a spokeswoman for Sa'ar said on Sunday, confirming a Channel 12 report.
Sa'ar hired Steve Schmidt, Stuart Stevens, Rick Wilson and Reed Galen, who are affiliated with the Lincoln Project, an American political action committee formed in late 2019 by a number of Republicans and former Republicans who aimed to prevent Trump's re-election and defeat all Republicans in close races running for re-election in the Senate.
Sources in Sa'ar's campaign said the team would be coming to Israel as soon as the coronavirus permits it, but until then, they would work via videoconferencing.
Sa'ar caused a storm on Sunday when he told a KAN Radio interviewer that he cannot endorse gay marriage because the issue is “heavy” and he did not want to make a promise he did not know he could keep.After he was criticized by Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, Israelis Party leader Ron Huldai and Tnufa party head Ofer Shelah, Sa’ar’s New Hope Party released a statement saying that Sa’ar had helped advance the rights of the LGBT community in every post he has held in politics. For instance, as interior minister, he helped gay couples make aliya and required schools to educate pupils about the dangers of homophobia.
“There are those who scatter promises that they have no chance of keeping and there are those who make changes to help the gay community,” the party said.
KAN TV reported on Sunday night that New Hope will require its campaign team to take lie detector tests for fear of leaks and moles.
“We take polygraph tests of all workers we bring in to the campaign team,” a New Hope spokeswoman said. “This is standard work of those responsible for information security.”
Huldai said on Sunday that he would consider merging his Israelis Party with Blue and White but only if it came without its leader, Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz.
Speaking in an interview on Channel 12, Huldai said Gantz was a political liability, not an asset. If such a merger took place, the Israelis Party would take Blue and White’s NIS 20 million in party funding.
Huldai made the statement despite a Panels Research poll published in The Jerusalem Post on Friday that found that Blue and White will cross the 3.25% electoral threshold and make the next Knesset and Huldai’s Israelis Party is below the threshold.