Available for transportation: What will Gideon Sa’ar’s political plan be after the state camp?

A decision to break up the state camp and stand, once again, at the head of an independent faction, caused a storm in Gideon Sa’ar’s heart immediately after the municipal elections. Although even now most of the chances are that in the next elections, whenever they will be, there will not be a note with Sa’ar’s name on top, the results of the local campaign taught Sa’ar that he is worth much more than he was valued, perhaps more than he valued himself.

Sa’ar managed to field a pretty good list of municipal candidates, including heads of authorities, with considerable success in relation to the size of his party in the Knesset, and even more than what his friends in the Blue and White camp managed until yesterday. When you add to that the five stable mandates predicted for him in several polls in the last month, Sa’ar realized that “Tikva New Hope” would be a hot commodity in the right-wing bloc in the moments before the general elections.

Sa’ar, Gantz and Eisenkot in more united days, Photography: Yossi Zeliger

I don’t trust Gantz – and Netanyahu even less

The early signs were many. It started with many face-to-face meetings with the Prime Minister, the same one who only months earlier Sa’ar had vowed to do everything to remove from power. It continued with the implicit, and then the overt, criticism of the chairman of his party, Benny Gantz. First about the policy, later also personal attacks, and it ended tonight (Tuesday) when Sa’ar positioned himself as the missing slot in the right-wing bloc, the bloc that has an ideological majority, but lags behind in all polls.

Sa’ar demands membership in the war cabinet and it is likely that Netanyahu will give it to him. But this does not guarantee a long-term political partnership. Sa’ar entered the coalition as an independent factor with a full belly on the management of the war. The parting, and the message that accompanied it, illustrated how much he does not trust Gantz and Eisenkot, but he trusts Netanyahu even less.

Sa’ar and Netanyahu. The former will not return to Likud as long as the latter is at its head, Photo: Amit Shaavi, Dodi and Aknin

In the particular shuffle that the war got into, the head is also to blame in Saar’s eyes. He intends to enter the War Cabinet to be the most right-wing member in it, at least as long as Smotrich and Ben Gvir are still out. He wants to press for a return to high-intensity fighting, to finish with Rafih, to stop the containment in the north. If he retires, it won’t be about the recruitment or the budget. but about the shuffling and hesitation.

If Saar sees that he has no way to influence – he will get up and leave.

Will not return to Likud

He will not return to Likud, certainly as long as Netanyahu is at the helm. Despite the talks with Netanyahu and his clarifications that they will not boycott him anymore, returning to Likud is not the direction. Sa’ar aims at a right-wing party that does not depend on the parties of the national camp in the original coalition. He is available for leads, that is, for connections like with Naftali Bennett, with Ayelet Shaked and the other characters, who were not able to stay like him on the wheel. The dissolution was necessary for him to maximize his position on it, and from now on all the mandate surveys will have a column named after him. His task from now on is to increase it as much as possible.

Gideon Sa’ar and Ayelet Shaked. Will they connect before the elections? Photo: Oren Ben Hakon

Will he also top the list? Not necessarily, although the dowry he brings with him, an existing faction with funding, with a lot of representation in the municipal area and with several mandates in the polls, will certainly help him conduct tough negotiations with any potential entrant.

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