Former Minister Benny Begin is returning to the Likud, after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu decided on Thursday to place Begin in the #11 spot on the Likud Knesset list, which is reserved for a candidate of his choice.
Begin was placed in an unrealistic spot in the Likud primaries before the elections of 2012, when he fell out of favor with the members of the Likud, who chose candidates considered to be more nationalist for the top spots on its Knesset list. Along with him, long time Likud members Dan Meridor and Michael Eitan were pushed out as well.
Netanyahu at the time offered Begin to be a minister in his government, even without being placed in a realistic stop on the list, but Begin refused.
Netanyahu was given two spots on the Likud list, #11 and #23, for candidates of his choosing. On Wednesday it was reported that he was planning on placing two women in these spots, Dr. Limor Darash-Samimian and Dr. Anat Berko. He later changed his mind and decided to only guarantee a spot for Berko and give the second one to Begin.
The Prime Minister presented the two names in the reserved spots to the members of the Likud Secretariat, and both were unanimously approved.
The chairman of the Likud Secretariat, Minister Yisrael Katz, said that "the Likud Secretariat made the right decision. Benny Begin is the real Likud. The final list of the Likud is an excellent and diverse list which represent all parts of the nation. Together we will win the elections and will continue to lead the State of Israel.”
Begin’s placement on the list came one day after it was officially and finally announced that Tzipi Hotovely would be placed in the #20 spot on the list, having defeated former minister Avi Dichter by a mere 101 votes.
As a result, Hotovely will receive the 20th spot on the list, while Dichter will be relegated to the 26th spot behind several designated spots, likely leaving him in an unrealistic position given the results of recent polls which show Likud not reaching that many mandates.