Netanyahu selects Idit Silman, Amichai Chikli for Likud list

Idit Silman, Amichai Chikli, and Moshe Saada have all been the subjects of Israeli political controversies during their tenures.

 Likud head Benjamin Netanyahu presents new additions to his faction's list ahead of the elections to the Knesset in November (photo credit: LIKUD)
Likud head Benjamin Netanyahu presents new additions to his faction's list ahead of the elections to the Knesset in November
(photo credit: LIKUD)

Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Idit Silman, Amichai Chikli, Moshe Saada, Tzaga Malko and Yossi Fuchs as his choices for the Likud list on Wednesday night.

Netanyahu’s selection included several political figures who were the subjects of controversy during their tenure in the previous government.

Idit Silman, the rebel

Silman is a former Yamina MK whose resignation from Bennett’s coalition government left it on unsteady ground and contributed to the dissolution of the Knesset. Silman said at the time that her decision to resign was based on her Zionist and nationalist values, and urged others to follow suit to see the establishment of a government that would embody them.

In April, Silman was reported by Israeli media to have been offered the 10th spot on the Likud’s list and a ministerial position in return for her leaving the coalition. This led the Movement for Quality Government in Israel to call on the State Comptroller and the Central Elections Committee to investigate if this alleged agreement violated laws against such deals.

 MK Amichai Chikli at the Knesset, April 25, 2022.  (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST) MK Amichai Chikli at the Knesset, April 25, 2022. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Chikli, the defector

Silman had joined Chikli in his rebellion against Bennett’s government. Chikli, who was unanimously formally declared a hostile defector at the end of April, had resigned from the Knesset on July 12 to pave the way for his run with Likud. Chikli’s resignation was done in accordance with an agreement reached in the Jerusalem District Court. While, ordinarily, a defector may not run in the following election with a preexisting party, if done immediately after being formally declared a defector, the politician would not be sanctioned.

Moshe Saada and police investigations into Netanyahu

Saada, formerly the deputy head of the Police Investigations Department, was relieved of his duties due to “incompatibility” in late 2021. The Justice Ministry argued he was acting against his superiors. A 2020 Channel 13 report stated he maintained direct contact with then-public security minister Amir Ohana without telling his superiors and threatened workers in the department that he would report them directly to the minister.

In an interview in July, Saada heavily criticized former police chief Roni Alsheich and former state attorney Shai Nitzan. His criticism boosted his support among Likud members, as it strengthened their claim that Netanyahu’s corruption cases were a setup.

Netanyahu’s choices were accepted by the Likud secretary.