Reunited? Rebel Yamina MK signals possible return to party

With a razor-thin majority in the Knesset, the strength of the coalition would be significantly boosted if Chikli votes along with Yamina.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Rebel Yamina MK Amichai Chikli, who voted against the establishment of the new government, will vote along with the coalition to support the extension of a law banning citizenship for Palestinians married to Israeli citizens.

Kan News reported Wednesday that his willingness to back the law indicates that Chikli will remain a member of the Yamina party, despite his vocal opposition to its partnership with the Islamist Ra’am party.

In exchange for supporting the party, Chikli will be placed on important Knesset committees and will not be labeled a defector, which would seriously harm his political future.

If Chikli has an issue voting in favor of a particular bill put forward by the coalition, he will inform party heads in advance to work out a compromise, Kan reported.

In a conversation with Kan, Chikli confirmed that he would vote on each law according to its merits and his right wing values, rather than making a decision based upon which party had raised the bill.

With a razor-thin majority in the Knesset, the strength of coalition would be significantly boosted if Chikli votes along with Yamina.

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Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu singled out Chikli for praise in a speech earlier in June, thanking him for breaking party discipline and voting against the formation of the new government.

“There is one righteous individual ​in this Sodom,” said Netanyahu.

“MK Amichai Chikli is the only one among the fake right’s Members of Knesset who is staying true to his principles and to the will of his voters.

“He’s not the defector. You, Yamina MKs, are the defectors.”

Days after the speech, Netanyahu met with Chikli, sparking rumors that the Yamina MK would defect to the Likud party.

“It was a ‘getting to know you’ meeting,” Chikli told Walla News, “where I thanked Netanyahu for his kind words during his speech to the Knesset plenum.”