Ex-Likud Minister:
'Netanyahu is afraid of Gideon Sa'ar'

Ze'ev Elkin, a former confidant of Netanyahu, says new poll shows Gideon Sa'ar is viable candidate to replace PM in coming election.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Ze'ev Elkin
Ze'ev Elkin
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Former Likud minister Ze’ev Elkin, who recently left the Likud to join Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope party, responded Monday afternoon to a new poll showing Sa’ar in a statistical dead heat with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup.

Elkin, formerly a confidant of Netanyahu, has sharply criticized the prime minister since his departure from the Likud late last year.

In an interview with Radio 103FM, Elkin dismissed Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid’s chances of forming a new government – despite Yesh Atid coming in second place in recent polls – adding that he believes Netanyahu is concerned more by Gideon Sa’ar.

Lapid “cannot form a coalition government in this Knesset, since most voters are center-right,” said Elkin.

Netanyahu, he continued, “is afraid of Gideon Sa’ar, since he knows that Sa’ar is an alternative.”

Elkin acknowledged that if Netanyahu and his allies, plus Naftali Bennett’s Yamina, win enough seats, they may form the next government, keeping Netanyahu in power.

“If Netanyahu and Bennett get to 61 seats, they might form a government – but it doesn’t look like it.”

A new poll released Monday by Radio 103FM found that in head-to-head matchups, Netanyahu now leads Sa’ar by just a single point, 43% to 42%, the narrowest margin yet recorded in a poll.