Minister Benny Begin
is seriously considering quitting politics and may not run in the next Likud primaries, Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth learned. Earlier this week, another Likud
minister, Moshe Kahlon,
announced he was "taking a break" from public life.
"In 2013, I'll be 70 and in January 2013 the next elections
will be held. I think that would be the right time to quit," Begin told a senior party official several days ago.
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Begin's father, former Prime Minister Menachem Begin,
retired from politics in 1983 – also at the age of 70.
Asked by a top Likud official on Monday whether he was ready for the primaries, the minister reportedly replied: "I really don't know. I haven't decided if I'm running yet."
Top Likud officials estimated that ministers such as Begin and Dan Meridor are considering their future given the difficulty in securing a top spot at the Likud list and due to the overall political pressure.
"It's a political jungle and not every candidate is suited for it," one official said. Nevertheless, Meridor confirmed he intends to run again for a Likud spot. Asked about Begin's future in politics, one MK said he was unaware of any decision he has made and that he is deliberating on whether to run again.
Minister Begin could not be reached for a comment.
Meanwhile, Student Union Chairman Itzik Shmuli announced Wednesday that he intends to run in the Labor Party primaries.
Having resigned from the Student Union, Shmuli is joining fellow social protest leader Stav Shafir who also joined the Labor party several months ago.
"The Labor party was and remains the only option for people like me," he said at a joint press conference with Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich.
Yuval Karni is a Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth correspondent