Sa’ar’s separation from Gantz gives Netanyahu’s government an “oxygen dose” | Policy

Occupied Jerusalem- The separation of the leader of the “New Hope” party did not constitute a Gideon Saarfor the “National Camp”, headed by the Minister Benny Gantzwho heads the Blue and White party, was a surprise to observers, as it had been expected for a long time, even before the outbreak of the Israeli war on GazaDue to a personal and ideological rift between the two men, the dimensions of which were hidden from the Israeli public.

The truth upon which Israeli analyzes agree is that had it not been for a battle…Al-Aqsa flood“On October 7, 2023, Sa’ar’s separation from Gantz would have taken place at the beginning of the winter session of the Knesset, at the beginning of last October.

The new party leader seeks to create a dual differentiation from… Likud From whom he split in the past, and from the center-left camp led by Gantz, Sa’ar indicated that he would not return to Likud at the current stage, despite the hopes of some of the main activists in the ruling party.

The New Hope party hopes to obtain a place on the war council, which is the offer Sa’ar is requesting from the prime minister Benjamin Netanyahuwhich he may achieve, according to analysts’ estimates, because of the great favor given to him by separating from Gantz, a step that strengthens Netanyahu’s position and postpones any date for elections in the near future.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L), Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (C) and Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz hold a press conference in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv on October 28, 2023 amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas.  - Netanyahu said on October 28 that fighting inside the Gaza Strip would be "long and difficult", as Israeli ground forces operate in the Palestinian territory for more than 24 hours.  (Photo by Abir SULTAN / POOL / AFP)
Sa’ar’s decision to separate from Gantz (right) is due to a change in the “national” agenda, according to analysts (French)

A crack that has not healed

Israeli analyzes agree that Sa’ar’s move is like a lifeline for the Netanyahu government, and a dose of oxygen – also – for Netanyahu, who is facing a state of confusion in the conduct of the war on Gaza, and is living in a state of conflict and division with his political opponents, even within Likud, the most prominent of whom is Defense Minister Yoav Galant.

Indicators of Sa’ar’s separation from Gantz, party affairs analyst at Haaretz newspaper, Yossi Verter, explained that the war on Gaza and the political developments and transformations taking place in Israel did not heal the rift between them, but rather deepened it, as disagreements continued over a number of issues. Such as: the course of the war, the nature of the next day in the Gaza Strip, and the future of the Palestinian Authority.

The party affairs analyst believes that Sa’ar’s decision to secede at this time is mainly due to the change in the national agenda, his pursuit of political achievements and gains in light of the war, and the fear of losing his right-wing party identity. Accordingly, Sa’ar sought to be different and distinctive and ready for any electoral campaign away from the umbrella of “National Camp”.

Verter explained that Gantz’s brief two-sentence tweet after Sa’ar’s announcement, “Thank you and we wish you good luck,” indicates that the head of the Blue and White party did not collapse with sadness over Sa’ar’s defection, but rather, for a long period, those around him viewed Sa’ar and his friends as… a burden.

As for Saar and Gantz, the party affairs analyst says, “The experiment failed. While the judicial amendments threatened Israel’s identity, they managed to maintain a political relationship without excessive love, but with an almost identical set of goals related to internal issues.”

Changing the balance of positions

Verter adds that from the moment the conversation became political and security-related, “the Saar ship changed its course strongly to the right. This is where its potential voters are located, and not in the electoral space in which Yair Lapid also sails. Perhaps in the future – as well – Naftali Bennett and Yossi will play.” Cohen, in this stadium.”

The party affairs analyst does not rule out that Netanyahu will agree to Sa’ar’s request to join the war council, saying, “The Prime Minister views Sa’ar’s step positively, at least in the foreseeable future, as it serves the stability of his extremist government and the implementation of its agenda related to the continuation of the fighting in Gaza.”

In turn, political analyst Akiva Eldar says that if Netanyahu agrees to Sa’ar’s request to include him in the war council, he “expects a change in the balance of positions there, which appears to be in Netanyahu’s favor vis-à-vis Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot, of course, but also vis-à-vis Ron Dermer and the permanent member of This council is the head of the ultra-Orthodox Shas movement, Aryeh Deri.”

Eldar adds to Al Jazeera Net that leaving the government and dismantling the coalition is currently “not on the horizon, not only on the part of Sa’ar, but also on the part of Gantz and Eisenkot, and when that is done, each party will act according to its discretion, and in any case, withdrawal from the emergency government is not “It’s a matter on the table.”

The political analyst estimates that Sa’ar’s return to the extremist Yemeni camp will enable Netanyahu to continue maneuvering in everything related to the conduct of the war and the continuation of the fighting in Gaza, noting that Sa’ar, who believes in the land of “Greater Israel” over all of historic Palestine, matches his beliefs regarding the war with Netanyahu’s approach and policy.

Political oxygen

The political analyst explained that if Sa’ar really intends to stick to his statements, according to which he does not intend to save Netanyahu, it is not clear why he urgently needs to separate from Gantz and Eisenkot, as he entered the emergency government on their backs, weakening their bargaining power in the government, and strengthening Netanyahu.

The political analyst pointed out that Sa’ar is in fact a very right-wing ideologue, such that his views are far from those of Gantz and Eisenkot, and it is clear that since last October 7, the differences between them have been increasing, but the question that arises is what… Which Saar is trying to achieve in the long term.

Eldar believes that Sa’ar’s separation will not significantly affect Gantz’s standing in the opinion polls. Because the electoral goods of Sa’ar and his party were not impressive at all, but the great impact related to Netanyahu remaining in the prime minister’s chair, as Sa’ar gave him with this separation a balloon of political oxygen.

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