MK Gideon Sa’ar, who is running for the Likud chairmanship against PM Benjamin Netanyahu, said on Monday evening that if he is elected party chairman, he would endeavor to elect Benjamin Netanyahu to be the next president of Israel, a post from which he could continue to contribute to Israel’s status in the world.
Speaking at a campaign stop in Netanya, Sa’ar added that he knows that today there won’t be a positive response to this proposal, neither on the left, which wants to see Netanyahu behind bars, nor in Netanyahu’s own camp, which wants to see him move on to his fifth stint as PM. But in real-time, Sa’ar promised, he would fight to make it happen.
Israel’s president is elected to a single, seven-year term, and the current president, Reuven Rivlin, took office on July 28, 2014.
Blue&White MK Yoav Segalovich said the Sa’ar promise was not an off-the-cuff statement but the result of some serious thinking in the Likud leadership, among other things because “the president has a seven-year deliberative immunity.” In other words, if by the summer of 2021 Netanyahu is still “innocent until proven guilty” with his indictments lingering in court, this bump to the presidential residence would effectively suspend the legal process until 2028.
Come here for all your conspiracy theory needs, we’re open Xmas and New Year’s.
Meanwhile, Channel 11 reported that Netanyahu was furious at the meager attendance at his support rally in Jerusalem Sunday night and took former Jerusalem mayor and current Likud MK Nir Barkat to the tool shed for not using his connections to make sure all the seats were filled. Bibi suspected this was Barkat’s sweet revenge for not being allowed to speak at the same rally. With his promising political future suddenly in doubt, Barkat capitulated under pressure and handed the PM his entire digital rollerdeck of voters to call in Jerusalem, telling Bibi he could do with it as he wished.
On Tuesday morning, Gideon Sa’ar clarified in an interview on Reshet Bet radio: “I take two things into account – the prime minister is blocked from ever forming a new government, but he can contribute to the country, he has an international reputation and exceptional political skills. Like Shimon Peres at the time.”
On Monday, Sa’ar told Kipa he would consider pardoning Netanyahu in advance of his trial, Ford-Nixon style, should the PM ask. What benevolence…
Sa’ar’s campaign manager, MK Yoav Kisch, also spoke to Reshet Bet about kicking Bibi upstairs to become president, saying “this is a right move for the State of Israel, it’s elementary.”
Kisch added: “I believe the next Likud chairman should be the next prime minister, he must have a majority in the coalition, and he should be able to lead a move that would pick the Likud’s choice for the country’s president.”
MK Mickey Zohar, considered a Netanyahu close confidant, said the presidential idea showed a positive change on the part of the Sa’ar campaign, which is different from their earlier attacks on Netanyahu.
Yes, irony is wasted on some people…