“No way.” Replied Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar to Editor-in-Chief Yaakov on Tuesday at the Jerusalem Post Conference on queries regarding a US consulate being opened in east Jerusalem that will exclusively serve the Palestinian Authority.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is on the same page, Sa'ar added.
The justice minister also discussed new bills that will come up to be voted on by the current government, which could prevent opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu from running for prime minister again. These are not personal against Netanyahu, Sa'ar said, but are targeted at ending the growing, problematic idea that a prime minister can serve even if indicted, Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar said on Tuesday.
Sa’ar said, “Mayors cannot continue with an indictment; ministers cannot continue with an indictment… so there is a crucial question whether this is the new ideology that [only] a prime minister can take office if he has an indictment.”
“I believe the opposition to this bill is personal, and the motivation for this kind of legislation is to bring the right values and norms to our public life,” emphasizes the justice minister.
Sa’ar’s argument is that Netanyahu and the Likud are opposing these two laws that are clearly better for Israeli democracy, only because he refuses to step down as his party’s leader, despite the ongoing public corruption trial against him.
In his first reaction to MK Yuli Edelstein's challenge to Netanyahu, Sa'ar said his New Hope Party could work together with a new Likud leader.
"If Likud will bring another candidate, it will be natural to cooperate, not only for New Hope but for other parties," he said. "Everything's open. If they elect another leader, everything will be open. Yuli is right. By keeping Netanyahu they will keep Likud in the opposition and Netanyahu will not be able to form a government."