September 30, 2022

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Justice Minister Refuses to Partner with Netanyahu

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On Friday, Gideon Sa’ar, the Justice Minister, criticized the opposition leader and head of the Likud party, Benjamin Netanyahu quite harshly. He accused the leader and his party of trying to ‘bribe’ coalition members in order to topple the current government in Israel. He again vowed to not partner with Netanyahu for forming a new government.

Sa’ar accuses Likud Party

The Justice Minister once more rejected rumors about him resigning from the coalition and talking with the opposition to form a right-wing government. Instead, he accused the biggest party in the opposition i.e. Likud of attempting to ‘bribe’ members of the coalition. Referred to Netanyahu by his nickname, Sa’ar said that he had no intention of bringing Bibi back. He accused the Likud party’s head and other members of spreading false rumors and of lying to members of the coalition.

He said that the entire opposition was working on spreading fake news. He said that their goal was to weaken him and to offend the people that follow and believe in him. Sa’ar stated that rumors about his defection had been spread by the Likud party. He said that they were trying to lure him by offering a spot in the next Knesset and government.

No Plans to Merge

Gideon Sa’ar also added that he had absolutely no intention of merging his New Hope party with another in order to participate in the next elections. This came in response to speculation that some of the centrist and right-wing parties may have to merge to cross the electoral threshold that will help them in joining the Knesset.

Sa’ar denied any plans of merging with a different party and he said that his New Hope party would stay united. Likud also responded to Sa’ar statement and said that the Justice Minister should resign from the coalition if the government is unable to pass the West Bank settlement law. Likud further added that the biggest priority was to protect the Jewish settlements in the West Bank, deal with the rising cost of living, having elections and forming a Knesset that will not have to depend on the Muslim Brotherhood.

Bennett Working on Orbach

In the meantime, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is working on convincing another Yamina MK, Nir Orbach, to not quit the coalition. The lawmaker had announced his decision to do so earlier in the week, which had put the fragile coalition into a minority in the Knesset. After Orbach’s announcement, Bennett acknowledged that his government may not be able to survive for long.

Media reports indicate that Bennett has asked Orbach to not vote against the coalition until the visit of Joe Biden, the US President. This was because it would have serious ramifications for the country where Iran is concerned. A report on Thursday also said that Bennett had also explored the possibility of setting up an alternate government with opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s party. But, the Yamina party had denied it. If a majority can be assembled by another candidate, they can set up an alternate government without elections.

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