New Hope party chairman Gideon Sa’ar told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday that he does not think Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will be able to unite the nation and vowed he would not enter into a coalition with Likud.
“In politics you can support someone as long as you think he’s doing the right thing for the country. What’s happened in the last few years has demonstrated the total opposite,” Sa’ar said when asked why he is challenging Netanyahu, his former ally.
He noted that Israel is now headed towards its fourth election in two years, adding that this unprecedented.
“Political instability also influences economic instability and social instability. People in Israel want change in order to bring Israel back on track,” said Sa’ar. “We must also bring our society back together again. We have severe polarization, divisions in our society, and I don’t think Mr. Netanyahu will be able to unite the nation, I’m not sure it’s in his interest and I am sure I can do it. So for all these reasons, so many Israelis want to open a new page, to have a new hope, and this is why I decided to establish this new party and to compete to be the next Prime Minister of Israel.”
Amanpour asked Sa’ar about the criticism of Israel for not yet providing COVID-19 vaccines to Palestinian Arabs.
“As you know, after the Oslo Accords and after our withdrawal from Gaza, the vast majority of Palestinians in Judea and Samaria and in Gaza are under Palestinian control. It’s the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to take care of their citizens,” he replied, adding, “We would like to help but we will be able to help only after taking care of our own citizens.”
He disputed Amanpour’s assertion that his remarks are a “severe message to the Palestinians” and said, “I think it’s a good message because I said that we are ready to help, but we will be able to help after we take care of our own citizens. I think the Palestinian Authority has enough money to pay salaries to terrorists, to murderers. If they have money for that, they can also take care of their residents’ health.”