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      Netanyahu 'Punishes' Saar for Election Failure

      Report: Prime Minister left Gideon Saar out of coalition negotiations, blames him for election results.
      By Arutz Sheva
      First Publish: 1/24/2013, 9:39 PM

      Minister Gideon Saar
      Minister Gideon Saar
      Flash 90

      Minister Gideon Saar, who headed the coalition negotiations team after the 2009 elections, will not be part of the team negotiating the current coalition, according to News1.

      According to this report, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and other leaders in Likud blame Saar for the catastrophic result of the election, in which the united Likud / Yisrael Beytenu list garnered only 31 seats – 11 less than the parties' combined strength in the outgoing Knesset. 

      The negotiations team will be headed by attorneys David Shimron and Yitzchak Molcho, whom Netanyahu trusts and who represented the Netanyahu family in court in several cases.

      The Likud / Yisrael Beytenu's election team under Gideon Saar reportedly took the parties' massive combined election budget and poured most of it on negative advertising directed against Bayit Yehudi. The advertisements portrayed the Bayit Yehudi as being opposed to the advancement of women, and stressed an Arutz Sheva interview in which Bayit Yehudi candidate Rabbi Eliyahu Ben Dahan voiced support for the idea of establishing a united Committee for the Family in the Knesset.

      The idea, which was also suggested in the past by MK Marina Solodkin when she was in Likud, reflects a holistic approach to the family, instead of the current structure of the Knesset committees on the family, which some see as adversarial and pitting women against men.

      Saar has been a very close friend of Labor leader Shelly Yachimovich, a leading militant feminist, since they were both young journalists. He is so highly trusted by the leading women's organizations that he became the only man to head the Knesset's Committee for Advancement of the Status of Women since the committee was established by then-MK Naomi Chazan in 1992. 

      The Knesset's other committee on family matters, the Children's Rights Committee, was established by communist MK Tamar Gozansky in 1995.