Photo Credit: Olivier Fitoussi / Flash 90
New Hope party leader Gideon Sa'ar and Blue & White party chairman Benny Gantz, 2021

New Hope party chairman Gideon Sa’ar, whose party joined with the Blue and White party led by Benny Gantz to form the National Unity party, announced on Tuesday that the union is over. Sa’ar, who is far more politically to the right than Gantz, said in remarks at a conference in Tel Aviv that he is also demanding to join the War Cabinet to “be part of the influence on policy.”

In response, Gantz simply wished him well: “Thank you and success,” he wrote in a two-word post on the X social media platform.


Sa’ar said in his statement that he wants to help ensure the war is waged all the way to the end, regardless of external pressures, possibly hinting at Gantz’s recent unauthorized visit to the US, and the intense pressure the US is placing on Israel to stop fighting Hamas.

“I see it as our role in the emergency government to make sure that despite all the difficulties and pressures, including the international ones – we will conduct the war in Gaza to its conclusion,” he said.

“To the end. ‘And we will not return until it is finished’. This is a war that will determine our future in this country, the future of our children and grandchildren. We must be determined to achieve its goals: the destruction of the military and governmental infrastructure of Hamas and the return of our abducted brothers and sisters,” Sa’ar said.

“For a long time, my friends and I have not hidden our criticism of the navigation of the campaign by the limited cabinet. There must be no connection between the goals set and the measures taken to achieve them.

“We must not reduce the military pressure and slow down the progress in destroying Hamas’ forces and its rule. We must not allow Hamas to take over humanitarian aid,” Sa’ar declared.

The remark appeared to be a direct slap at the current members of the War Cabinet, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, former Defense Minister Benny Gantz and former IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot.

Sa’ar had previously joined the two latter War Cabinet ministers to form the National Unity camp for the November 2022 election, after previously breaking from the Likud party, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in December 2020.

“I respect my friends, the representatives of the National Unity party in the War Cabinet, but unfortunately they do not express the voice, the positions, and the emphases that I would bring there,” Sa’ar told members of his New Hope party.

“Therefore, on your behalf, I express here our demand to join the War Cabinet and be part of the influence on the policy.

“I thank Benny [Gantz] and Gadi [Eisenkot] and the other members for the period of our joint list and believe that there will be days when we will cooperate in the future as two separate political frameworks,” Sa’ar added.

“From this moment on, I intend to act with additional political strength that will lead to the formation of an alternative, and I emphasize an alternative of a strong political force of the Israeli right, as the general public desires.”

Polls show that Israelis are looking for a right-wing alternative to the Likud party for when elections are next held. Right now those votes in the polls are parked with Gantz, but a rightwing party that stands out could have a chance at grabbing those votes.

The Likud recognizes the danger too, and a senior Likud official said that if Sa’ar sticks it out with the coalition, he could be rewarded with a ministerial position and other portfolios, hinting at a return to the Likud.

But Sa’ar probably has higher ambitions.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.