Likud: 'Sa'ar's leaving because of the polls'

'Sa'ar decided to abandon the Right, join Lapid, and long list of politicians who left Likud and then completely crashed,' Likud said.

Mordechai Sones ,

'The way we were': Sa'ar and Netanyahu
'The way we were': Sa'ar and Netanyahu
Flash 90

The Likud tonight responded to MK Gideon Sa'ar's announcement of leaving the movement with scorn, claiming that Sa'ar's reason is internal polls that indicate his expected drop in the primaries.

"Sa'ar is leaving because he was defeated in the primaries and because in the internal Likud polls conducted in recent days, he is dropping to below the top ten," the party said.

The Likud adds, "Sa'ar repeatedly swears that 'the Likud is my home and I won't leave if I lose, I don't believe in party fragments' - he was defeated, broke all his promises, and abandoned the Likud precisely while Prime Minister Netanyahu brought millions of vaccines to Israeli citizens, reduced morbidity, and mortality to one of the lowest levels in the world, and brings historic peace agreements.

"Sa'ar decided to abandon the Right, join Lapid, and join a long list of politicians who abandoned the Likud and then completely crashed. As in the past, the Likud will remain united and if it is dragged to elections - it will win," they added.

Transportation and Road Safety Minister Miri Regev attacked Sa'ar for leaving the Likud, and in a Facebook post, she called the movement Sa'ar founded the "Sa'ar News Studios Party."

"The Likud party is a rooted and strong party, with a path and leadership that is democratically elected by its members and not a news studio and ambiance party," Regev noted.

"Unfortunately, tonight Gideon Sa'ar violated his statements in the past that he would remain loyal to the Likud and chose to join the 'Only Not Bibi' camp. As if we didn't learn from history that all attempts to split the Right ended in setbacks and displacements. We will not repeat past mistakes," she added.

"Sa'ar says he cannot be a member of the Likud movement for so-called ideological reasons, but the truth is that he is leaving only because he wasn't elected chairman of the party. This is not loyalty to the path but to ego struggles and non-acceptance of the voter. In this way, Sa'ar is following in the footsteps of others who did not accept the decision of the voters, Tzipi Livni, Boogie Ya'alon, Dan Meridor, and others.

"Despite the challenges, the Likud government, led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, is successfully navigating the ship in stormy waters. We see the light at the end of the tunnel, the vaccines and the task of restoring the economy. This is the national responsibility we are committed to at this time."

Knesset Speaker MK Yariv Levin said following Sa'ar's announcement, "Gideon Sa'ar did something he should not have done. He ran for the Likud leadership, pledged to accept the democratic decision, and in stark contrast to the path Menachem Begin instructed us, he turned his back on Likud voters and Likud members. And broke his promise. "

He said, "What we saw tonight is a replay of what we've seen before - our friend Moshe Kahlon also left the Likud and eventually joined the Likud government and returned to the Likud movement. Others who left the Likud, such as Tzipi Livni, also quickly lost public trust and are outside the Knesset.

"The Likud movement is strong. The path of Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Likud leadership is a path that has led to unprecedented peace agreements, to placing Israel at the head of countries receiving vaccines before the great powers. A path of determination and economic strength. With our path and our cohesion, we will win," Levin added.

MK Nir Barkat attacked Sa'ar, "It is unfortunate that during a national crisis there are those who choose to flee the battle again and split up instead of uniting. I'm proud to be part of the Likud movement, a strong and rooted movement that will continue to lead the country in the face of the great challenges before us."

Likud MK Dr. Shlomo Karhi also attacked Sa'ar, "Sa'ar, like Boogie Ya'alon in his day, suddenly decided that 'the Likud changed its face' ... the exact same Likud movement for which only a year ago he ran for leadership. What changed? He just lost hugely.

"It's always possible to discredit the Likudniks to get another caress from the media. But we also always move on. 'The more they are oppressed, the more the increase and spread out'," Karhi added.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid, on the other hand, "congratulates Gideon Sa'ar on his courageous decision to go independent. Our views differ on many issues, but Israeli politics needs decent and caring people who do not succumb to power and corruption."