New Hope party leader Gideon Sa’ar will gain additional security starting Wednesday, becoming the fifth legislator to boost security amid an alarming increase in threats related to the impending government transition.
Knesset Weapons Sergeant Yosef Grif has ordered bodyguards to be deployed to protect Sa’ar, Hebrew-language news agencies reported Tuesday.
According to Walla News, the decision was made in response to death threats received by Sa’ar, who is expected to become justice minister in the new government.
Four other members of the Knesset, all from the Yamina party, have received additional security in recent days, Prime Minister-designate Naftali Bennett, Ayelet Shaked, Idit Silman and Nir Orbach.
Right-wing politicians have been chastised and threatened by supporters of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for connecting with parties across the political spectrum to form a coalition to push him out of power.
At the same time they were also courted by Netanyahu and his allies, who had hoped to torpedo the nascent coalition by convincing a single MK to abandon ship, thus depriving it of the majority.
Sa’ar is a former Likud minister who left the party after being banned by Netanyahu and unsuccessfully challenging him for the command post. His New Hope party, made up mostly of other Likud defectors, has functioned on a platform to be a home for right-wing voters disenchanted with Netanyahu, and the party’s lawmakers have resisted pressure to defect up to this point.
In this photo from August 26, 2012, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, speaks with then Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar as they arrive at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. (AP Photo / Uriel Sinai / Getty Images, Pool, File)
The change bloc coalition, led by Yesh Atid’s centrist leader Yair Lapid, is made up of a wide range of parties ranging from right-wing Yamina, New Hope and Yisrael Beytenu, left-wing Meretz, to the Islamist Arab Ra ‘party. am, in the center – Labor left and center Blue and White.
The coalition is expected to seize power if the confidence vote passes on Sunday, removing Netanyahu after 12 years at the helm. In recent days, right-wing social discourse has become increasingly alarmist, with frequent statements that the new government could condemn Israel and lead to dark times; angry protests outside the homes of politicians; the burning of political posters; and allegations of treason issued via traditional media and social media.
Most of the rhetoric and angry posters focused on Yamina MPs, who were seen as the most vulnerable to defect under pressure from the right. But others have also been subjected to death threats, including Yisrael Beytenu boss Avigdor Liberman and Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg.
Silman spoke out Monday against the threats, saying people threatened to “slaughter her” and stopped her sixth-grade son outside school to tell him “your mother will burn in hell.”
“Leaving my house and knowing that there are cars following me is not a pleasant feeling. It is impossible to leave the children in the morning. I don’t feel safe, “he told Channel 13.
On Saturday, Shin Bet head Nadav Argaman issued a rare warning against the rise of incitement and hate speech on social media and the danger of political violence unleashing.
“We have recently identified a serious increase and radicalization in violent and inciting speech, particularly on social media,” Argaman said, warning that such online speech could lead some groups or individuals to take violent action and even harm others.
At a faction meeting of his Likud party on Sunday, Netanyahu said he condemned all incitement and violence, but said his allies were wrongfully chosen for criticizing their political opponents.