Netanyahu defends Chikli after he was called a 'virus' for seceding from Yamina

Benjamin Netanyahu defended MK Amichai Chikli after MK Shirly Pinto called him a virus.

 Former Prime Minister speaks at the Knesset. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Former Prime Minister speaks at the Knesset.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu defended rebel Yamina MK Amichai Chikli on Monday after Chikli’s former colleague in Yamina, MK Shirley Pinto, called him “a virus.”

Reacting to attempts by the Yamina faction to declare that Chikli had seceded from the faction, Netanyahu said the truth was that the entire Yamina faction had seceded from the Right, except for Chikli.

“The Jewish people were called viruses in the 1930s,” Netanyahu told his Likud faction. “Imagine if a right-wing MK called someone on the Left a virus. There would have been an uproar, justifiably. Prime Minister [Naftali] Bennett, who preaches for respectful discourse did not speak about this new nadir they reached. If Chikli is a virus, it’s too bad he hasn’t infected MKs. Chikli is the only MK in Yamina who has remained loyal to his party’s promises and the only MK who remains right-wing in Yamina.”

Chikli attended a meeting of opposition faction heads at Netanyahu’s office on Monday.

In a meeting with the party’s leader, Bennett and Yamina failed to decide on Monday whether to declare that Chikli had seceded from their faction – a move that could prevent him from running with Likud and other current factions in the next election.

 Benjamin Netanyahu attends a meeting at the Knesset. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM) Benjamin Netanyahu attends a meeting at the Knesset. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Yamina Director-General Stella Weinstein, who is next on the Yamina list, called on Deputy Minister Abir Kara to quit the Knesset and let her become an MK, in accordance with the Norwegian Law. He ignored her.

Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy called upon the opposition on Monday to enable the formation of an ethics committee, in order to deal with recent problematic incidents.

In the interim, he invited Pinto to his office to talk about why she called her former colleague a “virus” in a TV interview on Sunday.

Pinto told 103 Radio on Monday that she meant a virus in a computer, not a virus that harms the health of people. Chikli mocked her statement on Twitter.

Likud MK David Amsalem appealed to the Supreme Court on Monday against Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit, complaining that he had not opened a probe against Kara, who illegally voted twice on a bill in July.