(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Tourism Minister Uzi Landau (Yisrael Beytenu) will not run for the next Knesset, he announced Sunday.
“For 31 years of public activity, I served in central positions in the Knesset and government,” he said. “During this time, I took part in discussions, initiatives and decisions that were important to the country.”
Landau said he sees himself as continuing to be active and contribute to the country, but that the time has come for him to leave the legislature.
“Yisrael Beytenu, led by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, has central importance in the emerging political map, and I would like to thank him for years of work together,” he added. “I will support and help [the party] in the election as much as I am asked to.”
Landau’s announcement comes as several senior figures connected to Yisrael Beytenu are under investigation on corruption charges, including Deputy Interior Minister Faina Kirschenbaum. The veteran MK did not say if his decision is connected to the incident.
His departure also comes in light of reports that Liberman planned not to put Landau, Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir and David Rotem, chairman of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, on the Yisrael Beytenu list for the next Knesset.
Landau, 71, was a Knesset member in Likud from 1984- 2006, serving as Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman, public security minister and a minister in the Prime Minister’s Office – a job from which then-prime minister Ariel Sharon fired him for voting against the Gaza disengagement.
He ran in Yisrael Beytenu in 2008, where he served as national infrastructure minister and then tourism minister.
Landau is the son of Haim Landau, an Irgun commander and one of the leaders of Herut, one of the parties that eventually became Likud.
He has a PhD in engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and worked as a systems analyst before entering politics.