Former Minister Dan Meridor and Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu held
a joint press conference on Sunday, in which they announced Meridor will be resuming his political activities within the Likud party lines.
Meridor, a former justice and finance minister who served as Knesset member between 1984 and 2003, told reporters he would be seeking a slot on the party's next Knesset roster; but Ynet has learned that he did not ask – nor was he guaranteed – a secure slot on the party's list.
"This is one of the most talented, seasoned, broadminded incorruptible men in the country," praised Netanyahu. "We have been discussing defense and peace strategies, down to the most sensitive details, for nearly two years.
"Dan Meridor asked for nothing but to be a part of what we do, and I am the first to welcome his experience and creativity. We are facing complex challenges that only a serious, seasoned leadership can tackle. I think we are presenting (the people) with the best possible team to handle things," he added.
"After five years of leading a comfortable life outside the political area, I have decided to resume my
political activities within the Likud," said Meridor.
"I've seen what has been happening over the past few years. The Kadima government
failed miserably on two fronts, and each of these failures should have sent it packing. The first, and worse of the two, was the way the Second Lebanon War was
handled. The second failure was the unprecedented attack on the judicial system."
Speaking of the challenges Israel is
facing as it tries to forge ahead with the peace process, Meridor said that "the Likud is not some fringe party. It is Israel's major party and the first one to strike peace."
As for the financial challenges which loom ahead, the old-new Likud member said that "leadership is measured in action, even when the short-term political interest in opposite. What Netanyahu did during his tenure as the finance minister in the reason we are not experiencing the same turmoil as the rest of the world markets."
When asked about the corruption which
seems to be plaguing Israeli politics, Meridor said that "that's a painful subject. I ask you to let the judicial process run its course. Every man in innocent until proven guilty. These are sad times, when not being corrupt is seen as something special."
Dan Meridor is the second of the party's past-prominent figures to rejoin its ranks: Last week Dr. Benny Begin, a former Likud minister who retired from politics in 1999, announced he was rejoining
the party, and seeking a slot on its Knesset roster, ahead of the upcoming general elections.