MK Benny Begin (Likud) said on Monday that he has no intention of resigning from the Knesset, despite having been pushed out of the cabinet.
“Over the last day, I’ve heard and read assessments and rumors that I intend to resign from the Knesset,” he told a Likud faction meeting. “I have no such intention. Anyone who thinks so must be a pretty big fool – someone who doesn’t understand the importance of the Knesset and its committees’ activity and isn’t familiar with the way I work.”
Begin said he has requested seats on three Knesset committees – constitution, law and justice; internal affairs and environment; and status of women – and intends to work “to the best of my ability” in the “field of public action” assigned to him.
“Many years ago, I knew a man, a rather interesting character, who for 29 years as an MK consistently and sincerely said that an MK could also serve the people from the opposition,” Begin continued, referring to his father, former Prime Minister Menachem Begin. “If I can complete the statement of my father and teacher, I think an MK can also serve the public from the coalition benches.”
Begin resigned his position as minister without portfolio this weekend because after Gilad Erdan joined the cabinet last week, Likud had one more minister than the 12 stipulated in its coalition agreements with other parties. The other parties were unwilling to let Likud retain an extra minister, and none of the other Likud ministers was willing to give up his cabinet seat. Nor was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu willing to fire any of the others in order to keep Begin, despite writing on his Facebook page on Friday that Begin was an “exemplary public servant,” a “key element of the Likud party” and someone whose “contribution around the cabinet table is meaningful and essential.”