Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90
Benny Begin, January 1, 2018

Former MK and son of the Likud founder, Benny Begin, on Monday criticized his party in extremely harsh terms on Army Radio and stated that he would not vote for it in the upcoming elections.

“It’s impossible. You can’t continue to behave like that and still expect to be rewarded,” Begin said. “There must be a cost to such arrogant, rude and vulgar behavior.”

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Begin also noted that “in recent years, the Likud leadership seems to have put considerable effort into making it difficult for me to support the Likud, and in recent months even prevented me from voting for the party in the election.”

Irgun leader Menahem Begin, under cover as ‘Rabbi Sassover,’ with wife Aliza and son Benyamin-Zeev in Tel Aviv, December 12, 1946 / National Photo Collection, the State of Israel

Before the 2015 elections, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to secure the 11th spot on the Likud slate for Begin, seeing as the legacy candidate had been unable to garner a sufficient number of primary votes. Begin rewarded the charitable move in November 2017, when he refused to support the Recommendations Law, which prohibits the police from publishing its recommendations to the prosecutor’s office at the conclusion of its investigation of a public figure.

He was ousted from the Knesset Interior Committee by then coalition chairman David Bitan who took his committee seat for himself. Needless to say, the move was harshly criticized by the opposition.

A geologist by trade, Benny Begin was first elected to the Knesset in 1988 on the Likud list. In 1993 he ran in the Likud primary to replace then PM Yitzhak Shamir as party leader but was defeated by Benjamin Netanyahu. Begin served in the first Netanyahu government as Science Minister until 1997 when he resigned in protest against complying with the Hebron Agreement which returned most of the city to the Palestinian Authority.

Back in 2015, when Netanyahu placed Begin in the 11th slot, the Likud secretariat chairman Yisrael Katz said: “The Likud secretariat has made the right decision. Benny Begin is the real Likud.”

Not any longer, apparently.

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