Gideon Sa'ar
Gideon Sa'ar Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90

Israeli Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar (New Hope) said Tuesday that under no circumstances would he join a government which includes Benjamin Netanyahu.

Speaking in an interview with Kan Tuesday morning, Sa’ar defended Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s decision Monday evening to dissolve the 24th Knesset and call for new elections.

Sa’ar said that over the past two weeks he had discussed the possibility of going to early elections with Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, arguing that given the government’s inability to extend the Judea and Samaria Law, there was no other choice.

“It was the responsible decision to make. We did great things for the country over the past year, but always prioritized the good of the country over political interests, and that is how it should be.”

The Justice Minister doubled down on his commitment not to join a government with Benjamin Netanyahu, saying a new Netanyahu government would be not be in Israel’s best interests.

“I won’t help bring back Bibi. It wouldn’t be good for the country – it would be exactly the opposite. We need to do everything possible to prevent further elections, and that is what we did for a long period.”

“We proved that change and cooperation are possible. That lasted longer than anything else we’ve had since December 2018,” Sa’ar continued, referencing the collapse of the 34th Government, led by Netanyahu.

“All of the parties need to learn their lessons for the next Knesset, but this was a much better attempt than the alternative would have been.”

In contrast to Sa’ar’s comments, a top Yamina official said Tuesday that her party has not ruled joining a Netanyahu-led government.

“We never focused on personal politics,” said Yamina party CEO Stella Weinstein. “We didn’t use personal talking points, we talked about the issues and we need to continue to do so. I say that we must not let the State of Israel be dragged into yet another election just because I’m not thrilled about someone with whom we could form a government.”