Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu offered Benny Begin to be a minister in the next government, but Begin refused, Channel 10 News reported on Sunday.
Begin reportedly told Netanyahu, “I will agree only if I am assured that Dan Meridor and Michael Eitan will also be appointed as ministers.”
Begin, Meridor and Eitan were all placed in unrealistic spots to be in the next Knesset in last week’s Likud primaries.
The members of the Likud chose candidates considered to be more nationalist for the top spots on its Knesset list, leaving behind the more moderate Begin and Meridor. It has been reported that Netanyahu hoped very much that the two would rank higher on the list.
Last week it was reported that Ma'ale Adumim mayor Benny Kashriel, a close associate of Netanyahu, sent a letter to the Likud Elections Committee, asking that Begin be placed in a realistic spot in the joint Likud / Yisrael Beytenu list.
Begin subsequently announced that in the wake of the results of the Likud primaries, he will not be included on Likud's list for Knesset, and that he asks Likud members and activists to stop trying to place him on the list.
A report in the Ma’ariv daily last week indicated that Meridor may join Tzipi Livni’s new party, The Movement. The two are reportedly meeting to discuss the idea.
Livni reportedly suggested Meridor join her one month ago, but he refused, saying he was running in the Likud primaries.