'I'm convinced I can win'

MK Gideon Sa'ar rejects supporting government led by Gantz: 'I'm Likud and loyal to my party's decisions.'

Mordechai Sones ,

MK Gideon Sa'ar
MK Gideon Sa'ar
Kobi Richter/TPS

MK Gideon Sa'ar spoke to Aryeh Eldad and Ben Caspit on 103FM about his decision to call for Likud snap primaries and also referred to the demonstration in support of the Prime Minister to be held in Tel Aviv this evening.

We all see the storm on the social networks and the scathing insults. How do you get through it emotionally?

"I get through it easily. I have public life experience and know exactly why I went back to politics. I sleep and eat a little less and unfortunately see the wife and children a lot less but all in all - everything is fine. I am absolutely at peace with myself and I do what I need to do as a public envoy for my movement and for my country."

Did something about the Likudniks' reaction surprise you? You were called a traitor.

"This isn't a statement by Likudniks, it's a statement by certain margins. I was received yesterday at the Hod Hasharon branch of the Likud when roughly ninety percent of the people applauded, and there were a few rowdies that shouted. I know the Likud movement and the wisdom of Likudniks who love the country. The Likudniks know very well where I'm coming from and I trust their intelligence."

Ben: As someone who's been threatened for years, I can say that one is enough to do a deed. Don't you have any kind of concern?

"No. I have no fear. There are bodies in the State of Israel whom it should bother."

Aryeh: A poll by Mano Geva said that Likud Netanyahu voters are sweeping over 80%. Does it worry you?

"Not at all. I saw another poll last night among Likud members in which I received 40% support. I'm not running in order to position myself but because it's important to end the ongoing political crisis in the country. I think I have very broad support in the Likud and if there's a contest you'll be surprised."

Ben: Do you think you can beat a prime minister like Benjamin Netanyahu in the primaries of the Likud party?

"There is no guarantee in politics. We never come from a sense of smugness. I believe it will be an election in which I'll receive very broad support."

Aryeh: I estimate that many senior Likud members think you're right but don't see anyone joining you.

"I don't agree with you. I heard today Ramat Gan Mayor Carmel Shama Cohen publicly express support for me. I also heard Knesset Member Yoav Kish condemn all of my attackers and express support for my position. I really am not alone in the Likud there are many who support me and my stance. The other government officials have additional considerations and I respect them all. The Likud's space at all levels contains very broad support for me and the positions I represent."

Aryeh: Why don't Likud officials offer their help?

"I'm not a political commentator. I go with my truth and think that third elections are systemic madness, as the Prime Minister himself has defined."

Ben: Do you think Netanyahu wants another election campaign?

"Sure. Dragging time to avoid primaries in the 21-day period means only one thing - striving for third elections. Elections aren't a punishment for Gideon Sa'ar but a punishment for the citizens of the State of Israel. This ensures that for half a year the state will continue to be stuck in the endless quarrel between the parties, the government won't function, and very vital areas will be harmed. We in the national camp could be hurt and surrender power to our opponents."

Ben: If you run in the primaries and beat Netanyahu, does that mean you have a government with Blue and White? Will you be the first in a rotation?

"I won't go into details but I'm convinced I can win and form a government quickly. I think I'm not the only one in this position. Even if others win in the primaries they can form a government. If we continue to stonewall, the deadline will pass and we'll all embark on another election campaign that nobody will benefit from."

Aryeh: There's a rumor in the Knesset that Gantz is already signing people up and already has 57 signatures. Did he contact you?

"Absolutely not and there's no way I would agree to this even if they contacted me. I'm a Likud man and loyal to my party's resolutions. I propose to let Likud members decide. Blue and White, Labor, Meretz, and Arab factions have 57 seats and I fear that if we don't read the writing on the wall, we may in three months wake up for the first time in 30 years with a majority to the Left in the State of Israel."

Ben: You won't go to the demonstration tonight. What do you think of it?

"Demonstration is a fundamental right in a democratic state. People who go do so out of care and pain. However, I don't see what this event will do for the Likud or the Prime Minister. So I also made it clear that I had no intention of coming."