The State of Israel and its people are the loves of my life, and I have been serving them from a very young age, for more than two decades.

We have been in the midst of the worst political crisis in the country’s history for more than two years, and we have been made to pay an unbearable price. As long as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remains in office, Israel will be unable to emerge from the political, social and economic instability that plagues it. A change is essential.

The role of the prime minister of Israel is perhaps the most difficult and challenging role in the world. He shoulders the responsibility for the continued existence and prosperity of the people of Israel in their land.

What Israel needs today is a leader with experience, skills, judgment and responsibility. It needs a leader with a profound understanding of the various policy issues and the ways in which the government and the Knesset work. No less important, Israel needs a leader who will unite it, connect the different parts of our society and place the good of the public above all else.

I will bring all this with me to the role.

I served twice as cabinet secretary twice, under two prime ministers—Ariel Sharon and Netanyahu—even before I served as a Knesset member and minister, making me intimately familiar with the prime minister’s work.

As education minister and later interior minister—two of the most important ministries—I led and implemented important reforms. I served seven Knesset terms, in almost every possible role, pushing dozens of bills through to benefit the Israeli public. I have formed governments and toppled them.

There is hardly a policy issue—political, security, economic or social—with which I am not deeply familiar, and I have plans to pursue various policy issues.

More than any other candidate, I can unite all sectors of the Israeli public, heal society and mend its rifts. I believe that a unifying leadership is necessary today more than ever, given the challenges we face.

I will lead a national reconciliation campaign that is essential to building our true inner resilience.

I will do this not as a single ruler, but as part of a government comprising an excellent group of people. I believe in Menachem Begin’s leadership concept of “first among equals.” Together, we give new hope to all Israelis, not just some of them.

Gideon Sa’ar is the leader of the New Hope Party.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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