Sep 21, 2021

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On Tuesday, Amichai Chikli (Yamina) gave his first address to the Knesset plenum. Despite being new to the Knesset, Chikli is already a rebel, having broken with his party and crossed its head, Naftali Bennett, to oppose the formation of a coalition with the Arab and left-wing parties. He was the only member of his party to do so. 

The Jewish legacy

“In this forum, there are those who nicknamed me ‘the rebel’,” Chikli said to the Knesset. “I wish I deserved that title. The Jewish legacy has a continuous line of rebellions. Abraham rebelled against the idolatry of his father. Moses rebelled against Pharoah. We are a small part of the nation that in order to preserve our identity and our freedom, on the oil and the menorah, we had to be emboldened to rebel against the strongest empires in the history of mankind; Assyria and Babylonia, Greece and Rome, Germany and Britain. But Judaism does not only require from us big rebellions but also small rebellions every day. 

Strengthen himself like a lion

Chikli cited the opening phrase from the Shulchan Aruch, the seminal work of Halacha (Torah Law).

“One should strengthen himself like a lion to get up in the morning to serve his Creator, so that it is he who awakens the dawn.”

“Judaism requires from us that our actions match our words,” Chikli continued. “Faithfulness, dedication, correctness, and to pay the price.”

“I did not come here to reveal against any person or party. I came to rebel against the same spirit of the times that attempted to extinguish the menorah. The spirit of the times that attempts to blur the difference between truth and falsehood, and bring along a culture of lying politics of fraud.A spirit of the time that sinned in bringing about a corrupt system of law enforcement. A spirit that brought us to weakness, to lose the power of deterrence, the power of governance, and the loss of personal security in the Galilee, the Negev, and the mixed cities.”

For the sake of my children

“I rebel against that time for the sake of my children. I rebel against that time for the sake of the next generation. I rebel against that time for the sake of the eternal aspect of Israel. With God’s help, with the strength of words and actions, we will be successful.”

Benjamin Netanyahu, former Prime Minister and current leader of the opposition praised Chikli’s speech.

“You deserve deep gratitude for your principled position, unlike your friends who have broken every single promise,” Netanyahu said.“You are deeply appreciated beyond this hall as well.”

Last month, Knesset Member Amichai Chikli (Yamina) was turned away by the Israeli police when he attempted to enter the Temple Mount compound.