Good news on the political front in Israel. Benny Begin, one of the very few Israeli politicians who is truly respected for his honesty and decency, who holds rational, positive views on the direction Israel must take, is returning to politics. Even Meretz MK, Zehava Gal-On, whose views on Israel are dangerous, to say the least, called him “a worthy, decent and honest man,” and that “the Knesset that needs people like him.”
According to the Ynet report, Begin plans to run for a spot on the Likud list, before the upcoming elections for the 18th Knesset. Unlike Avigdor Lieberman, who turned against his constituents and joined Olmert’s government, Begin actually stayed true to his ideals when, in 1997, he resigned from the Likud after Bibi Netanyahu signed the Hebron Agreement. He left politics entirely in 1999, when his Herut party only succeeded in winning four seats in the Knesset.
The Likud, headed by Netanyahu, are still only the lesser of the three evils with a shot at winning in February. However, one can still hope that Begin will at least somewhat keep Netanyahu on the right path.
Bibi also said the Likud is “witnessing a wave of (people) joining and returning to the Likud,” as if his party’s ideals and strong views are the reason for this wave. It is not. The rats are simply abandoning the slowly sinking ship, known as Kadima.
Ynet also reports that “Netanyahu [is] attempt[ing] to enlist other celebrities to his roster, such as former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya’alon and former Minister Dan Meridor.” Ya’alon is still much of a question mark, though some of his recent work seems to be a positive sign. Meridor, on the other hand, Israel could do without. Membership in the corrupt, ideology-less organization known as Kadima really is a permanent stain on his record, and his re-joining Likud would be no more than a strategic move meant to save his political career, belying an opportunism that that is all too prevalent in Israel, a trend we should strive to eliminate.
In any case, Israel needs more Begins and fewer Olmerts. May this February be a positive move in a new direction, and an end to the last three years of Olmert-ism.