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Bibi exhausts another political rival

Over the years, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu managed to drive away those who threatened his position, such as Ministers Roni Milo, Moshe Kahlon and now also Likud’s favorite Gideon Saar, leaving the party empty of political stars.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and Education Minister Gideon Saar attend the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem October 18, 2009. Netanyahu promised a lengthy diplomatic battle to "delegitimise" United Nations charges that Israel committed war crimes in the Gaza Strip, an official said on Saturday. REUTERS/David Silverman/Pool (JERUSALEM POLITICS) - RTXPR7B
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In Israeli terms, it was considered something of a political earthquake. On Sept. 17, the ruling party lost its most prominent politician, the only man who dared challenge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the person considered by many in Israel to be the one great hope of the post-Bibi (Netanyahu) era. Interior Minister Gideon Saar was a former education minister and Cabinet secretary in both the first Netanyahu and the first Sharon governments. Now he surprised everyone by announcing that he was leaving political life.

“I have decided to take a time-out from political life,” he said. He never once mentioned Netanyahu’s name in his goodbye speech, which he delivered at the traditional New Year’s toast for his supporters. Yet, this name not mentioned could be heard loud and clear in the whispers making rounds among his supporters. Saar was resigning because of Netanyahu, and only because of Netanyahu. And he wasn’t the first to do so.

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