Gideon Sa'ar

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Gideon Sa'ar
Date of birth (1966-12-09) 9 December 1966 (age 52)
Place of birthTel Aviv, Israel
Knessets16, 17, 18, 19, 21
Faction represented in Knesset
Ministerial roles
2009–2013Minister of Education
2013–2014Minister of Internal Affairs

Gideon Moshe Sa'ar (Hebrew: גִּדְעוֹן סַעַר; born 9 December 1966) is an Israeli politician who served as a member of the Knesset for the political party Likud between 2003 and 2014. During his time in government, he held the posts of Cabinet Secretary, Chairman of the Coalition Minister of the Interior and Education Minister. In April 2019, he was re-elected to the 21st Knesset.

Early life[edit]

Gideon Moshe Zarechansky (later Sa'ar) was born in Tel Aviv. His mother, Bruriah, is of Bukharian Jewish descent [1] while his father, Shmuel, immigrated to Israel from Argentina in the mid-1960s, settled in Sde Boker and became the personal physician of David Ben-Gurion. Sa'ar has two siblings, a brother and a sister.[2] After serving in the Israel Defense Forces as an intelligence NCO in the elite Golani Brigade, Sa'ar studied political science at Tel Aviv University and then went on to study law at the same institution.[3][4] He worked as an aide to the Attorney General between 1995 and 1997, and then as an aide to the State Attorney until 1998.[5]

Political career[edit]

Sa'ar was appointed cabinet Secretary in 1999 and again from 2001–2 after Likud's Ariel Sharon won a special election for Prime Minister. In the 2003 elections he won a seat in the Knesset on Likud's list, and was appointed Likud Parliamentary Group Chairman as well as Chairman of the Coalition. He was opposed to Israel's unilateral disengagement plan, and attempted to pass a bill demanding a referendum on the subject.[6]

After retaining his seat in the 2006 elections he was reappointed Group Chairman and also became a deputy Knesset speaker.

While in the Knesset, Sa'ar proposed bills to jail employers who fire pregnant women,[7] (he chaired the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women) and to ban cosmetics testing on animals.[8]

In December 2008 Sa'ar won the Likud primaries for its list going into the 2009 elections, giving him second place on the Likud list after leader Binyamin Netanyahu.[9] He retained his seat, and was appointed Minister of Education on 31 March.[10]

In 2012, he again gained the most votes in Likud primaries, and entered the 19th Knesset.

In September 2014, Sa'ar announced that he would be resigning his post before the next election. He said he would still remain a member of the Likud.[11][12] On 17 September, he took a hiatus from politics.[13] He left the Knesset on 5 November, and was replaced by Leon Litinetski.

On 3 April 2017 Sa'ar announced his return to politics and intention to run in the next Likud primaries. He is seen as a potential candidate for party leadership and eventually Prime Minister.[14][15][16][17][18]

In September 2017, The Jerusalem Post ranked him 5th on its "50 most influential Jews" list, calling him the "heir apparent to the Likud throne".[19] In September 2018, he was ranked 25th along with fellow Likud members Yisrael Katz and Gilad Erdan.[20]

Personal life[edit]

In May 2013, Sa'ar married Israeli news anchor Geula Even, who is the mother of their children, David and Shira. He has two children, Alona and Daniela, from his first wife, and one grandchild.[21]


  1. ^ Gil Shefler (7 February 2011). "Bukharan Jews celebrate their heritage in TA gathering". The Jerusalem Post.
  2. ^ Efrat Neuman (17 April 2014). "In the name of Zionism, change your name". Haaretz.
  3. ^ "Getting Israel Back On Track". The Times of Israel. 21 August 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Gideon Sa'ar - JCFK". Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Gideon Sa'ar". Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  6. ^ "Likud faction adopts proposal facilitating passage of budget". Haaretz. 21 March 2005.
  7. ^ Zvi Zrahiya (22 November 2006). "Bill proposes 6-month jail term for firing pregnant employees". Haaretz. Archived from the original on 26 November 2006.
  8. ^ Tamara Traubmann (28 January 2007). "Ministerial committee approves bill banning animal testing for cosmetics". Haaretz.
  9. ^ Mazal Mualem (9 December 2008). "Netanyahu 'stars' dim on Likud list, as hawks dominate primary". Haaretz.
  10. ^ "Netanyahu sworn in as Israel's prime minister". Haaretz. 31 March 2009.
  11. ^ Gil Hoffman, Lahav Harkov "Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar Announces Plans to Quit Government" The Jerusalem Post, 17 September 2014
  12. ^ Jonathan Lis "Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar to Take 'Time-Out' From Political Life" Haaretz, 17 September 2014
  13. ^ Jonathan Lis, "Likud No. 2 to take break from cabinet and Knesset after the Jewish holidays", Haaretz, 17 September 2014.
  14. ^ "Former senior Likud minister Sa'ar announces return to politics". The Times of Israel. 3 April 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  15. ^ "With disarming return to politics, Sa'ar gives Netanyahu little cause to fret". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  16. ^ "Poll: If Netanyahu doesn't run, Gideon Sa'ar is the preferred right-wing candidate". Ynetnews. 8 June 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  17. ^ "Netanyahu's Biggest Likud Rival Gideon Sa'ar Announces Return to Politics". Haaretz. 3 April 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  18. ^ "Could this man be Israel's next Prime Minister?". The Washington Post. 27 June 2017.
  19. ^ "Gideon Sa'ar — Will he return from political exile to lead?". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  20. ^ "25. Gideon Sa'ar, Israel Katz, and Gilad Erdan". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  21. ^ "Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar Weds Journalist Geula Even". Haaretz. 17 May 2013.

External links[edit]