Likud Welcomes Returning Members

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JERUSALEM, Israel - Dr. Benny Begin, who announced his resignation Sunday as head of the Geological Survey of Israel, will reenter politics as a member of Likud.

Throughout his years as a Knesset member (MK), Begin enjoyed an unsoiled reputation as an ethical, humble and honest legislator, which crossed all political lines.

"Begin will be a huge addition to the Likud ahead of its victory in the upcoming [general] elections," party faction chairman Gideon Sa'ar said.

"Begin is a symbol of sticking to values and ideology, of incorruptibility and cleanness," he said.

Begin, who served in the Knesset from 1988 to 1999, left the Likud in protest of Netanyahu's decision to turn over control of Hebron to the Palestinians.

Likud MK and former Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin, a neighbor of Begin, played a role in his decision to reenter politics.

"In recent weeks, I realized that Benny wanted to return to a position of influence," Rivlin said. "I asked Bibi [Netanyahu] whether he wanted him, and he said he would be honored if he returned," he said.

"When they met, they brought up every aggravation one had against the other in their mutual history, and then they were ready to work together again," Rivlin said.

Among the people Netanyahu is talking to are former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of General Staff Moshe Ya'alon, now a senior fellow at the Shalem Center; former IDF spokeswoman Miri Regev, who joined the party on Sunday; former minister Natan Sharansky; Kadima MK Marina Solodkin; former MK Dan Meridor; and retired American-born pro-basketball player Tal Brody.

"I'm glad there is a wave of people coming back to the Likud," Netanyahu said. "Many, many people in the country see the Likud as hope for a new path," he said.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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