Netanyahu Tells Activists: The Left Has United Us

Prime Minister says 'a huge and almost unprecedented public campaign' is being waged against him.

Yoni Kempinski, Gil Ronen ,

Binyamin Netanyahu at Likud meeting
Binyamin Netanyahu at Likud meeting
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met Thursday afternoon with dozens of Likud activists at the party headquarters in Tel Aviv, and spoke to them about the latest political developments, including the decision by Hatnua to merge with Labor.

"Who will lead the country? The leftist leaders, who are multiplying, or a leadership under me? We know the answer,” Netanyahu said. “The left has united us. Likud members have understood what the citizens have been seeing in the last few days – a huge and almost unprecedented public campaign is being waged against me, which supports and advances any politician in any party who opposes a Likud government under me.”

Former Likud minister Gideon Saar announced Thursday that he will not contend for leadership of the Likud party against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the upcoming Likud primaries.

"In the circumstances that emerged and after giving the matter careful thought, I decided not to vie for leadership of Likud at this time,” he wrote on Facebook. “My heartfelt thanks to all those who inquired, for the trust and the warm support.”

Saar was critical of the decision by the Likud Central Committee Wednesday move up the date of the primaries to December 31 – a change that pundits believe was meant to make it hard for him to run. “My position was different, but I respect the decision,” he wrote.

Netanyahu feeling the love in Likud meeting Ben Kelmer / Flash 90