Sa'ar rules out governments led by Netanyahu, Lapid

Lapid's spokesmen declined to comment.

Gideon Saar at UNESCO 311 (photo credit: Education Ministry)
Gideon Saar at UNESCO 311
(photo credit: Education Ministry)
Prime ministerial candidate Gideon Sa’ar began his campaign over the weekend by telling the three television networks in interviews that he would neither sit in a government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor enable him to build a coalition after the next election.
“If Netanyahu becomes prime minister and forms a sixth government, I will sit in the opposition,” Sa’ar told Channel 13.
Sa’ar accused Netanyahu of failed management, telling Channel 12 that the prime minister has been in power too long and that his continued reign weakens Israel.
“There is no chance I would have taken the step of leaving Likud to lengthen his term,” he told Channel 12. “If you want Netanyahu, don’t vote for me.”
Sa’ar said Likud ministers agreed with him and say the same things behind closed doors.
The Likud responded by saying that “the cat has been let out of the bag” and that “Sa’ar said tonight that he would join a left-wing government just to topple the Likud government led by Netanyahu.”
Sa’ar told KAN TV that the Likud’s charge was “ridiculous,” but he was not surprised that Netanyahu’s office was pretending he is Left wing, as happened with others who have criticized the prime minister. He also ruled out serving in a government formed by opposition leader Yair Lapid.
“I will not sit under Lapid as prime minister,” Sa’ar told Channel 13. “He cannot unite the nation, and there is no chance I will join a government whose path is completely different than my path.”
But Sa’ar said that if he would form a government as prime minister, he would not rule out any Zionist party joining his coalition.
Lapid’s spokesmen declined to comment.
The Knesset is set to vote on Blue and White’s bill to disperse the Knesset on Monday in its first reading and on Wednesday in its final readings. The bill would set the election for Tuesday, March 16.
Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz said on social media on Friday that Israel will be going to elections because of Netanyahu’s personal, political considerations.
“At the end of this fourth election, I know Netanyahu will not remain prime minister of Israel – and he needs to know it, too,” Gantz said.
Both Likud and Blue and White denied reports of compromise proposals being worked on over the weekend.
Figures in the two unity government parties, including Finance Minister Israel Katz and Science and Technology Minister Izhar Shay, have expressed support for a proposal that would involve passing two state budgets while postponing the agreed rotation in the Prime Minister’s Office.
But due to opposition from doves within Blue and White and supporters of Sa’ar in Derech Eretz and Likud, such changes in the coalition agreement may not have enough support to pass in the Knesset.
Likud officials have said that any compromise would have to involve the firing of Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn.
Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit wrote to Netanyahu and Gantz on Saturday night, urging them to make key appointments, including a new state prosecutor and police chief.