In 2006, he was elected to the Knesset on Yisrael Beiteinu's list. In March 2007, he was appointed Minister of Tourism, but his tenure ended in January 2008 when the party left the coalition. He retained his seat in the 2009 elections, for which he was placed fourth on the party's list. Upon the formation of the Netanyahu government on 31 March 2009, he was appointed Minister of Public Security. On 16 June 2009, Aharonovich told an undercover police detective, who apologized for being untidy while meeting the minister in Tel Aviv's central bus station, that he looked as dirty as an “Araboosh” a Hebrew slur roughly meaning “little Arab”. He was denounced by several members of the Knesset as a racist following that, and he subsequently apologized.