Gideon Sa'ar planning the 'Netanyahu Law'

Justice Minister to submit bill preventing a criminal defendant from serving as Prime Minister.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Gideon Sa'ar
Gideon Sa'ar
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar, chairman of the New Hope Party, reveals how he will prevent Benjamin Netanyahu from being appointed as Prime Minister, wants to give a chance to in a coalition with Mansour Abbas and notes that the Likud did not evacuate the illegal Bedouin outpost of Khan Al-Ahmar for 12 years.

In an interview with the Yediot Aharonot newspaper published on Friday, Sa'ar rejected allegations that he joined with far-left and Arab parties only in order to remove Netanyahu from power.

"With all due respect, the Labor Party was a partner in Netanyahu's second government as well as in his fifth and final government. Everyone remembers how Netanyahu courted Ra’am. ‘Abu-Yair’ began this process. Only he said to Mansour Abbas, 'I am the only one who can do it.' So it's not only him."

"I must say I did not know Mansour Abbas. I first met with him about a month ago for a two-hour conversation. I am under the impression, and I put aside for a moment the ideological gaps, that he made a brave move. I also see his conduct as very wise. He is in my eyes one of the most interesting public figures today. All these years we made complaints against the Arab parties - why do you not deal with Israeli Arab citizens? Why do you always deal with Palestinian Authority issues? And for the first time, the leader of an Arab party comes and says: I want cooperation based on civic issues. I think it's important to give it a chance."

Sa'ar explained why the new government sought to delay the evacuation of Khan Al-Ahmar after he himself claimed in the election that only New Hope could demolish the illegal village. "First of all, this issue has been on the agenda for over ten years. I know this claim of the opposition, that within a month we already had to do all the things they did not do. Netanyahu did not address this issue for 12 years."

"Second, my position on this issue has not changed. But it's okay if this government has a discussion and makes decisions. We know in advance that it has different approaches and disagreements and they will be expressed. My position is different from that of Foreign Minister Lapid. But having a discussion in a government that has been around for a month is legitimate."

The Justice Minister also unveiled the new move that would prevent a candidate with an indictment from forming a government.

"This week I instructed the professional echelon in the Ministry of Justice to prepare a bill which stipulates that the President will not impose the role of the formation of a government on a criminal defendant," said Sa'ar. "I intend to submit this bill to the Knesset during the winter session and it will apply starting from the elections to the 25th Knesset. I will also deal with the limitation of the term of office to a maximum of eight years, as we promised, in the coming winter session."

Asked if he is coordinated with Prime Minister Bennett on this issue, Sa'ar replied, "Assume that I would not start this process without being coordinated with the Prime Minister. I note the norms that apply in the State of Israel on the issue: Mayors who are indicted are suspended. And I note that mayors are elected in direct elections and yet the legislature agreed by a broad consensus that they should be suspended if they are charged with crimes."

Sa'ar said that the management of the state by the person against whom an indictment was filed produces a preference for personal interests over the good of the state. "We have seen this in many issues, including the fact that the appointment of a state attorney was not brought for government approval and in the famous picture from the opening of Netanyahu's trial, when he attacked the justice system as the government ministers stood behind him. Therefore, it is clear that it is not right to place the country in a similar situation in the future. This is a general norm that will apply to everyone. I have held consultations in the Ministry of Justice and it is clear to me that the proposal we will bring will stand all the constitutional tests, and I intend to promote this proposal."

Sa'ar also said he does not rule out the use of the new law approved by the Knesset about a week ago, which allows four MKs to legally split from a faction in the Knesset. "It is too early to talk about it. I cannot predict in advance what developments there will be. But no possibility can be ruled out. There are people in the Likud with whom I keep in touch. I would not say that there is an axis with them, but I have some friends there."