New Hope chairman Gideon Sa'ar explained at a faction meeting Monday why he rejected the Likud's offer of a rotation deal where he would be prime minister first, followed by Benjamin Netanyahu and Naftali Bennett.
At the beginning of the faction's meeting, Saar said: "Israel's interest is in the replacement of the longest serving-ruler in the country's history. This is what I did - we also did during an election campaign and we acted accordingly and consistently afterwards."
''Our teacher and leader Menachem Begin, peace be upon him, emphasized the importance of replacing a long-serving ruler. It concerns the roots of the people's trust in the democratic system and its sense of its very ability to influence its own destiny. Menachem Begin said in 1955: 'Prolonged rule over the nation and the country is a very serious phenomenon. Prolonged rule cannot but be corrupt.' The ability to persevere and remember what the goal is, is important to withstand temptations and pressures," he said,
"The meaning of the proposal we received - even if it was realized - is that for the next four and a half years Netanyahu would have remained the strongest and dominant person in the government and in the political system, whether he was prime minister or alternate prime minister. Every person who would have served as Prime Minister in these circumstances was entirely in his hands and completely subject to his good will for his his success.
''We need to analyze the essence of things: how they will be in the test of reality. I consulted with my colleagues, and came to the conclusion that it is right to continue to work to maximize the chance for change. Even now there is still no certainty that a government will be formed. We are doing and will do our best to get it up. Yesterday negotiations took place from noon until after midnight. Today we will continue our efforts. It does not help to publicly detail the content of the discussions.
"What is unbearable is incitement. In the past I have talked about the method of de-legitimizing political opponents. Netanyahu and his people are wildly delegitimizing a government that has not yet been formed," Sa'ar said.
''The incitement machine works with all its might even before a government is formed or has done anything. It is incitement and fueling hysteria that has nothing to do with ideology but with anxiety about losing power and control.
He dismissed claims he and Bennett were embracing a left-wing government, "A 'left-wing government' is a false and absurd expression for a government that, if formed, will be heterogeneous - but most of its members will be from the center and the right. It is important to say that political opponents, even from the left, are not enemies."
Sa'ar said that he would not compromise on important principles for the national camp: "On the basis of the formation of the government, there will be arrangements that will ensure that we can uphold the values we hold dear. In any case, we will stand by our principles. We will not allow harm to Israel, just as we will not allow Israeli democracy to be harmed. We will uphold the national values and vital interests of Israel. No one can be certain of success."