Former Minister Dr. Begin Returns to Israeli Political Arena

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Former cabinet minister Dr. Ze’ev Binyamin Begin, the son of the late prime minister, Menachem Begin, announced on Sunday he is returning to the Israeli political arena as a member of the Likud Party. Dr. Begin, a geologist by profession, is expected to announce his resignation as head of the Geological Institute, which he heads to clear his agenda for the upcoming general election.

Begin resigned his cabinet post as science minister in 1997 under the Binyamin Netanyahu government after the Chevron Agreement was approved, leading to the handover of large portions of the Chevron area to the PA (Palestinian Authority). He resigned from Likud in 1999 to head a right-wing list which combined Tekumah and Moledet [today incorporated into the National Union]. The combined ticket only earned four mandates, leading to Begin’s announcement that he is leaving politics with the realization he is a “public official without a public” as he put it.

Netanyahu over recent years has been perceived as Begin’s political nemesis but during recent months the opposition leader seems to have persuaded Begin to return. One of the pivotal forces responsible for his return is veteran Likud legislator Ruby Rivlin, who was a close to his father, stating that while Binyamin Begin did not request any portfolio in a Likud government, “it is understood that he is a senior official who will hold a senior party position.”

The response from Likud MKs has been overwhelmingly positive, with veteran lawmakers well aware that Begin represents integrity and an uncompromising standard in the political arena, one that can only be beneficial to the party as it works to unseat Kadima in the upcoming election.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)