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Benny Begin

(1943 - )

Ze'ev Benjamin "Benny" Begin, son of the late Prime Minister Menahem Begin, was born in Jerusalem in 1943. He earned his B.Sc and M.Sc from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and his Ph.D in Geology from Colorado State University in the USA. Begin served in the Armored Corps from 1960-3 and during 1975-6 volunteered for a lengthy period of military service.

As a geologist, Dr. Begin worked at the Geological Survey of Israel (1965-88), where he headed the Environmental Geology and Hydrology Division, and the Mapping, Marine Geology and Computer Center Division. He was also co-ordinator of studies on the siting of the nuclear power plant in Israel. Since 1989, he has served as the head of the Research Institute of the College of Judea and Samaria.

Begin has been a Knesset Member since 1988. In the 13th Knesset (1992-96), he was a member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. During the 12th Knesset (1988-92), he chaired the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee's Sub-Committee on National Defense Policy, and was a member of the Knesset Committee on Constitution, Law and Justice. He is currently a member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

In June 1996 he was appointed Minister of Science and served until his resignation in January 1997.

In November 2008, Begin announced his return to politics and the Likud party, as well as his intention to seek a place on the Likud list for the 2009 elections. He ultimately won fifth place on the party's list, and returned to the Knesset following the elections. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu had promised Begin a ministerial position if Likud won the election and honored that promise by appointing Begin a Minister without Portfolio in the new government. He did not run in the 2013 elections, and subsequently lost his seat. Following the 2015 elections, Begin was appointed the Minister of Strategic and Intelligence Affairs Responsible for International Relations.

Dr. Begin is married and has six children.

Sources: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo used with permission of the Knesset.