Why Did The New Hope MK Defect To Yesh Atid?

MK Michal Shir (Knesset Channel screenshot)

MK Michal Shir announced on Sunday that she is leaving Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope party, which recently merged with Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party, and joining the Yesh Atid party headed by Yair Lapid

The decision aroused much curiosity as Shir, who was a member of Likud before joining New Hope, was considered very close to Sa’ar.

“I’m ending today a fascinating period with my friend Gideon Sa’ar,” Shir wrote. “I had the privilege of being part of the dramatic political process that led to the end of Binyamin Netanyahu’s rule. Today I join Prime Minister Yair Lapid and the Yesh Atid party, which is the main political party that stands as a wall against those who try to dissolve us from within.”

Kan News later revealed the reason for Shir’s defection. According to the report, Shir had told colleagues: “I’m right-wing, Gantz is a leftist-socialist. He can’t be the prime minister.”

Channel 13 News reported on Sunday night that Sa’ar is furious at Lapid in the wake of Shir’s defection, saying that he was not even informed that Shir was in contact with Yesh Atid.

In other New Hope news, MK Benny Begin, 79, the son of former prime minister Menachem Begin, announced last week that he is retiring from politics.

Begin was part of the Likud, which was founded by his father, for about 15 years, but left the party in 2019. He joined New Hope ahead of the 2021 election.

New Hope chairman Gideon Sa’ar welcomes Benny Begin to his party in 2020.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. I’m very disappointed in Sa’ar. I had high hopes for him, and for Zev Elkin; if I were Israeli I would have seriously considered voting for them in the last election. But going with Gantz *or* with Lapid is just not acceptable. Gantz is a leftist, and Lapid is an idiot. I agree that Netanyahu had to go, but with all his faults he’s a better alternative than either Lapid or Gantz. And the fact that Sa’ar went with Gantz makes me think he’s unfit to lead too.