MK Amichai Chikli was elected to the Knesset on the Yamina party slate but left the fold to become an unofficial rogue MK after his party chairman Naftali Bennett signed a coalition deal with the left, and voted against the new government. His party treated him with a kind of benign neglect as long as he wasn’t posing an electoral threat; but after another Yamina MK, Idit Silman, announced her departure, the party decided to go after Chikli.
On April 7, 2022, the Yamina faction announced its decision to declare MK Chikli a “dissenter,” which, according to protocol, would mean that he cannot join other Yamina MKs to form the minimum three-member faction, nor would he be able to join another party in the next election.
This would be the political equivalent of a public execution, seeing as Chikli does not have his own lavish base, and spending four years in the wilderness may make him a happier man, but a much less valuable politician. However, Chikly is not entirely without supporters in the religious-Zionist sector, where he is known as an innovative educator who established many youth programs for Israeli teens, including a pre-military academy. And so, in response to the declaration of his impending ousting, several party members, including Asher Cohen and Shai Maimon, and other key activists, published a letter of support for MK Chikli, in which they called Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked Yamina dissenters.
In preparation for his appearance before the Knesset Committee, where the Yamina move will be discussed right after the Spring break, Chikli borrowed a page from the playbook of one Martin Luther (1483 – 1546) and published his own version of the Ninety-five Theses that denounced the papal Indulgences – so, without further ado, here are MK Amichai Chikli’s 98 Theses listing the broken promises of his party and its leaders. Naturally, we’re only sharing a few because unlike folks in the 16th century, we’re all very busy people.
Chikli divides Yamina’s broken promises violations into four categories:
- Commitments to establish a right-wing government
- No cooperation with Lapid and no appointing a Prime Minister backed by a few seats
- An unequivocal refusal to sit with the Meretz and Ra’am factions
- Committal reassurances regarding sovereignty in Judea, Samaria, and the Negev
So, here we go:
- Bennett during a tour of Sde Boaz, Jan 24, 2021: “I vow that on my first day as prime minister I will sign the regulation of the young settlements (the outposts).”
- Shaked in an interview with Srugim, March 3, 2021: “We will form a government with a right-wing majority…”
- Matan Kahana in an interview with Srugim, July 3, 2021: “Lapid can be prime minister on Mars.”
- Shaked on Twitter, June 3, 2021: “We will not sit with Meretz. Nitzan Horowitz’s statement justifying the politically-biased and antisemitic activities of the Hague Tribunal is a disgrace to the Israeli Knesset.”
- Shaked at the College of Management Conference with Amit Segal, February 2, 2021: “Our goal is to form a right-wing coalition.”
- Bennett in correspondence with journalist Boaz Golan (undated): “In the security situation that has emerged, it is impossible to win the war with a government that relies on Ra’am.”
- The Yamina party on its Twitter account, February 2, 2021: “The High Court of Justice’s decision to annul the disqualification of Ibtisam Mara’ana (Labor) is a shame and a disgrace. The High Court approves of those who deny Israel as a Jewish state, derides the memory of the Holocaust, and, in doing so, derides the heroic IDF soldiers.” (Mara’ana tweeted back in 2013 that she continued driving during the two minutes siren on Memorial Day, and that for her those were two “wondrous minutes” – DI).
- Finally, the ultimate coup de grâce (I know it’s redundant): Bennett posted on Facebook, on March 22, 2021, a letter to the national-religious public, declaring: “Under no circumstances will I give a hand to the formation of a government headed by Yair Lapid, not even in a rotation because I am a right-wing man and he is a left-wing man.”
The Yamina faction’s announcement stated that “MK Chikli chose to give a get (grant of a divorce) to the faction and to act in complete opposition to its positions, through an active and deliberate effort to fail the faction, the coalition, and the Israeli government.”
According to Yamina, “before the vote of confidence in the government and especially afterward, all the faction members and its ministers tried to have an open and fair dialogue with him, out of a desire to enable him to take part in the activities of the faction, the coalition, and carving out policies, while listening and respecting his independent positions. But from the start, it was clear that MK Chikli was acting in complete opposition to the faction’s positions and with the intention of thwarting the coalition.”