Far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his challenger in today’s (December 26) internal Likud election for the party leadership, MK Gideon Sa’ar, each received hundreds of thousands of shekels in campaign contributions from American, British millionaires, the State Comptroller’s Office website revealed on Sunday, December 22.
The Knesset passed a law last year preventing Knesset candidates from raising money from private donations and instead providing public funds for primaries. However, the law does not apply to races for the leadership of a party.
„Das wäre nicht passiert, wenn es nicht bereits zwei gescheiterte Versuche Netanyahus gegeben hätte, eine Koalition zu bilden. Alles deutet darauf hin, dass Netanyahu auch nach einer dritten Neuwahl kein Bündnis bilden kann.“ Denn weiterhin schließen mögliche Koalitionspartner eine Zusammenarbeit mit Netanyahu aus: Avigdor Lieberman und dessen Partei Israel Beitenu sowie das Bündnis Blau-Weiß von Benny Gantz.
Likud MK Gideon Sa’ar said Tuesday that Benjamin Netanyahu should resign, marking a rare call from within Likud for the ouster of the party leader and prime minister.
Sa’ar, who earlier this week challenged Netanyahu to a leadership contest, accused Netanyahu of prolonging the political deadlock that has wracked the country for the last several months by refusing to step down.
„Whoever heads the executive branch cannot say that Mendelblit’s decision is an attempt of a legal coup. That’s not right, it’s not responsible,“ said Sa’ar in an interview with Channel 12 News.
„It’s not fixing the system, it’s smashing the system,“ he continued. „It is impossible to talk about the attorney general’s decision as a coup, we are creating an atmosphere of chaos in the country, and that I oppose,“ Sa’ar added.
Alluding to Netanyahu’s role in the right-wing campaign against former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in the run-up to his assassination, he said: „Someone who spearheaded the harsh and painful campaign against Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of blessed memory, which ended in a national disaster, should know that dangerous words are doomed to turn into deadly bullets.“ He added that „a true patriot“ would not „hold Israeli citizens hostage to his legal battle.“
Senior Likud member Gideon Sa’ar has called for a Likud leadership primary, criticizing Benjamin Netanyahu’s attack on Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit and the claim that the decision to indict the prime minister on corruption charges is „an attempted coup.“
„Whoever heads the executive branch can’t say that Mendelblit’s decision is an attempt of a legal coup. That’s not right, it’s not responsible,“ Sa’ar, seen as Netanyahu’s main rival in the party, told Channel 12 News on Saturday.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son lashed out at Israeli police, referring to them as the Nazi Gestapo, accused a senior Likud MK seen as his father’s political rival of rape and claimed a former family aide turned state witness killed an IDF soldier in the past. Yair Netanyahu made the allegations during an explosive interrogation that was part of one the prime minster’s corruption investigations, according to transcripts published Tuesday by Channel 12 television.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly shrinking away from a suggested Likud party primary proposal after close allies warned he has more to lose than gain in the contest.
Instead, Netanyahu is weighing a whether to hold an internal leadership contest next year after Foreign Minister Israel Katz made the suggestion Thursday evening, according to Israeli broadcaster Channel 12.
The party’s central committee will meet Thursday to discuss advancing the primaries.
Gideon Sa’ar is gunning for the top spot in Likud – and the premiership. But can he do it in a party where loyalty is the key to succession?