Gideon Sa'ar 'Completely At Peace' with Decision

In an interview with Channel 10, Sa'ar stated after careful deliberation, he made choice not to run and is "completely at peace.'

Cynthia Blank ,

Gideon Sa'ar
Gideon Sa'ar
Alex Kolomoisky/Flash 90

On Thursday, former Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar announced that he would 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.”

On Saturday, in an interview with Channel 10 News, Sa'ar expounded on his decision not to return to political life and run against Netanyahu. 

"Following the announcement of early elections, I received many inquiries from members of Likud as well as citizens. I listened and considered but eventually I made the decision not to deviate from the decision I made three months ago - to take a break from public life," Sa'ar said. 

In September, Sa'ar unexpectedly announced he was leaving politics citing personal reasons and despite his love for Likud. 

"In the past two years, against the backdrop of changes in my personal life, I have decided to take a break from public life," Sa'ar stated. "It is difficult for me to leave, and there is always a reason why not to do so."

Sa'ar, who posed one of the biggest threats to Netanyahu, said he was, "completely at peace with the decision. I weigh every decision carefully before I make it and I'm very complete with myself." 

However, in what may be construed as a sharp critique against Netanyahu, Sa'ar added, "The political system is saturated with ego from all directions. This decision is a little different. But the public is smart - they see and understand everything." 

Likud MK Ze'ev Elkin responded to Sa'ar's decision by declaring him one of the most talented politicians in Israel. 

"I'm sorry that he left, but he made the right decision not to run now. I am confident that he will do everything to ensure Likud's success in the upcoming elections," Elkin said.