Begin Blasts Netanyahu, 'Won't Vote Likud' in Israeli Election

Former lawmaker and minister, son of legendary Likud leader, slams Netanyahu-backed bill to place cameras at polling stations ■ Former Likud Knesset speaker also refuses to back Likud

Benny Begin in Knesset, 1996.
אמיל סלמן

Benny Begin, a former lawmaker and the son of legendary Likud leader Menachem Begin, and Dan Tichon, a former Knesset speaker on behalf of Likud, said on Monday that they will not vote for the party in next week's election.

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"In recent years, the Likud leadership seems to have put considerable effort into making it harder for me to support Likud and in the past months it's even preventing me from supporting Likud in the election," Begin told Army Radio.

Begin, who served as minister during his tenure in the party, criticized a draft legislation backed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to place cameras at polling stations.

He said that he knows others who are considering not voting Likud, saying that "there's a price and there should be a price for such arrogant, crude and blunt behavior."

Begin stressed that the legislation was being promoted hastily, and in spite of the opposition of Central Election Committee Chairman Hanan Melcer, Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit and Knesset legal counsel Eyal Yinon.

"When you see [this opposition] there's no escaping the conclusion that this is a blatant and gross disregard of public servants in charge of good governance, clear jurists. This approach is both dangerous and arrogant, because before our eyes an unrestrained majority is becoming a stampeding majority."

Dan Tichon, a former Likud lawmaker and Knesset speaker, also said on Monday that he won't vote Likud in the September 17 election.

"I certainly won't vote Likud in its current makeup," Tichon told Channel 11. "I think that democracy is facing a severe attack and needs to be protected – the sooner the better."

Tichon also criticized the cameras bill, which failed to pass a preliminary Knesset committee vote, saying that if he were Knesset speaker today he wouldn't have allowed it to be sent for a vote.