Miri Regev
Miri RegevHillel Meir/ Flash 90

Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev (Likud) on Tuesday morning slammed the party's MK Gideon Sa'ar for how he presented his candidacy for Likud leadership.

Speaking on Army Radio, Regev said, "When I hear how Gideon Sa'ar speaks, it reminds me of how the Left speaks. Sa'ar is trying to split the Likud."

"We're not abandoning the Likud. We know the polls. Gideon Sa'ar crashes the Likud and there is no doubt that [Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu brings a lot more Knesset seats to the Likud. In our polls, we know that we are capable of achieving 61 Knesset seats without [MK Avigdor] Liberman. What's happening is that there are those who are leaving the Likud, because they don't want Sa'ar, they move to the Jewish Home or other right-wing parties. Many many votes went to waste because of Otzma Yehudit, and many right-wingers did not go out to vote. We have five Knesset seats of people who just need to get out and vote."

Regev also criticized Sa'ar for waiting to make his suggestions until he demanded primaries.

"When I hear Sa'ar speaking, he reminds me of how the left speaks," she reiterated. Sa'ar says, 'we'll do this and that.' He was in the Likud, he was a minister. Where was he with all these suggestions? The Prime Minister protected the judicial system from a lot of desires, including mine, to pass the Override Clause and to make far-reaching changes in the Justice Ministry. You can't say that Netanyahu wanted to harm the system. Netanyahu did everything in order to keep the justice system independent, and we all see what's happening in the justice system, the State Prosector's Office, and the police. Most of the Israeli public is bothered by what we've seen in recent months."

Regarding the primaries themselves, Regev said, "The Likud does not like undermining its leader, and we don't like it when people split us up. I believe that on December 26, we will deal a fatal blow and we will show the entire public that the Likud is united."

When asked about the rumor that Netanyahu might retire from politics in exchange for a pardon, Regev said, "That's another spin. How did you get to a pardon? There wasn't even a trial yet. Why run ahead? He deserves the assumption of innocence, there are judges in Jerusalem, we need to wait and see what the court decides."

Netanyahu, she said, "is not involving himself" in the issue of immunity. "He's not talking about it. Today he's dealing with the primaries. When he makes a decision he'll announce it. Instead of the news talking about deciding between right and left, the news revolves around attempts to split the Likud, and that's the path Gideon is leading us down, unfortunately."