Yuval Steinitz, a former minister and veteran Likud lawmaker, has decided to end his political career, telling Opposition Leader and Likud party chairman Benjamin Netanyahu that he will not run in this November’s Knesset election.
Steinitz, a long-time Netanyahu loyalist who served in the Knesset for 23 years, has previously held the offices of Finance Minister, Intelligence Minister, and Energy Minister, and once chaired the Knesset’s powerful Foreign Affairs and Security Committee.
The 64-year-old MK announced his departure from politics Tuesday, saying: “After 23 years as a Member of Knesset – during which time I had the privilege of serving as Finance Minister, Intelligence Minister, Energy Minister, and chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee – I feel that the time has come for me and my family to breathe some fresh air.”
“I am proud of my accomplishments in my various positions over the years for economy, in foreign policy, and in security. Some are of historic significance, including uncovering the Syrian nuclear program, creating the first-ever two-year state budget in the world, bringing Israel into the OECD, bringing our economy out of the 2009-2012 global economic crisis, and the gas deal which turned Israel into an energy power.”
Netanyahu lauded Steinitz as a “loyal partner for the successful economic policy we led Israel with for the best ten years of our history.”
“Our joint struggle to get the gas out of the water, despite all of the populist pressure, brought tens of billions of shekels to the citizens of Israel – for education, welfare, health, and infrastructure.”