An especially long and stormy meeting of the Knesset House Committee on Monday ended with seven members (all members of the coalition) voting to declare MK Amichai Chikli, who resigned from the party immediately after it formed a coalition with the left and Ra’am, as a “defector,” ousting him from the Yamina party.
The move prevents Chikli from running in the next election with any existing Knesset party. The hearing was held at the request of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who filed a request for a hearing the day after MK Idit Silman’s resignation earlier this month to serve as a warning for other Yamina members not to leave the coalition
However, Bennett may have regretted his decision to call for the hearing as it served as an hours-long venue to expose his lies and broken promises, with Chikli presenting a list of 100 promises that Bennett violated, chief among them the promise not to join a government with left-wing parties and not to serve in a government headed by Yair Lapid.
Chikli ended his comments with the statement: “Naftali Bennett, you have no G-d [Elokim],” which was met with a round of applause by opposition members.
The decision was slammed by many, including even left-wing politicians, who pointed out the absurdity of a party declaring a member who refused to violate the party’s own avowed principles a “defector.” As opposition chairman Binyamin Netanyahu said: “Chikli didn’t defect from Yamina, Yamina defected from the right.” Additionally, the law allowing a party to oust a member for “defecting” was intended to thwart politicians from switching parties for political favors or other non-ideological reasons.
Chikli is planning on appealing the decision to the Jerusalem District Court.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)