‘Don’t make me angry’ – Diaspora Minister threatens to topple government

“I brought down the last government and I can bring this one down too,” says Amichai Chikli, in debate with ultra-Orthodox lawmakers over their latest demand.

By World Israel News Staff

Israel’s Minister of Diaspora threatened to topple the government Sunday during a heated debate with ultra-Orthodox (haredi) lawmakers over affirmative action.

“Don’t make me angry,” Minister Amichai Chikli (Likud) warned haredi MKs Sunday evening. “I brought down the last government and I can bring down this one too,” he said, referencing his role in weakening and eventually bringing down the Bennett-Lapid government last year.

Formerly a Yamina MK, Chikli refused to support the formation of the unity government in 2021, joining the Opposition.

His staunch refusal to back the Bennett-Lapid government left it with a narrow 61-seat majority, which was ultimately lost when fellow Yamina MKs Idit Silman and Nir Orbach bolted the Coalition.

The spate on Sunday began after haredi lawmakers, who are also members of the Netanyahu-led coalition, demanded that affirmative action policies for the job market be expanded to the haredi sector, with yeshiva students being comparable preferences as those offered to recently demobilized IDF soldiers.

Chikli took umbrage at the comparison, saying that while he supports yeshiva students, “you cannot compare that in any way to people who risk their lives.”