Begin: I'm Not Resigning from the Knesset

Anyone who think I'm giving up my seat is an 'idiot,' Benny Begin tells Likud faction meeting, a day after resigning from the government.

Hezki Baruch, Cynthia Blank ,

MK Benny Begin
MK Benny Begin
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

After resigning from the government on Sunday, MK Benny Begin (Likud) made clear Monday during a Likud faction meeting that he has no intention of giving up his Knesset seat. 

"I heard a rumor that I intend to resign. I have no such intention and anyone who expects me to must be a giant idiot who doesn't recognize the importance of the Knesset, and doesn't know the way I work," Begin asserted. 

After adding Gilad Erdan to the government last Monday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was forced to give up one minister from Likud and the unhappy task fell to Begin, already appointed Minister without Portfolio. 

On Friday, Netanyahu wrote on Facebook that he would do all he could in the future to bring the "exemplary" Begin back into his fourth government. 

"When I read the tributes the Prime Minister wrote to me, I thought I was reading my own obituary," Begin told the faction meeting, before addressing Netanyahu personally. 

"I pulled myself together and said, "Od Avinu Chai" [Our Father lives] and moved on. I sent my letter of resignation from the government. It was around noon that you asked me to give you a few hours to fix the issue, but then you told me it was unsuccessful."

Apparently, Netanyahu was rebuffed by coalition partners Shas, Jewish Home and Kulanu after trying to cajole them into allowing him to maintain a government of 21 ministers, thus ensuring Begin's resignation. 

But, according to the veteran politician, even a simple MK has the power to serve the public significantly. 

"Many years ago I met a man, a very interesting figure, who for 29 years said that an honest and devoted MK can serve the public, even from the opposition," Begin stressed, alluding to his father, former prime minister Menachem Begin. 

"Following the words of my father and teacher, I think an MK can serve the public, also from the coalition bench, and in this spirit I turned yesterday to Likud faction chairman Tzahi Hanegbi and requested to sit join the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, the Internal Affairs and Environment Committee, and the Status of Women Committee."

"I hope I will be able to join these committees and work for them to the best of my ability," Begin added.