Bennett Leaves Yamina with MKs Taking Revenge from Silman

On Monday, Naftali Bennett, the former Prime Minister of Israel, decided to take on yet another former role, as he split from his own Yamina party.

The move was meant as a favor to two allied lawmakers that would help them quit Yamina and join other parties without having to give up their seats in the Knesset.

However, the same exit was not given to MK Idit Silman, who had rebelled from the party.

Bennett’s move

It is not possible for MKs to be members of two parties at the same time and the existing lawmakers have several options to explore if they want to run in the elections scheduled for November 1st.

They can either give resignation from their seats, form a new faction with a group of party members, or be released from their existing party.

In accordance with the complex rules, the Knesset’s House Committee only needs to give a rubber stamp in the case of resignation.

The approval of the entire faction is required if the lawmakers want to exit the party as individuals, but no approval is needed if three MKs leave together as a new faction.

Silman’s dilemma

Back in April, Silman had been serving as the coalition’s whip, but had decided to resign, thereby accelerating the fall of the outgoing government.

She had submitted a request to leave the Yamina party, which had been blocked by the Knesset House Committee, while a similar request of three other MKs had been approved.

This means that if she wants to participate in the elections in November, she would have to resign her seat in the Knesset and then get accepted by another party.

The scenario

The Yamina party headed by Ayelet Shaked is now left with four seats, after MKs Shirly Pinto, Matan Kahana and Naftali Bennett decided to pull out their seats.

This will allow Kahana and Pinto to run in the elections in November with different parties, while effectively gutting the Yamina party, which is already struggling to survive.

The Yamina party has joined hands with Derech Eretz to form the Zionist Spirit Party for running in the upcoming elections, but it currently does not meet the threshold required for entering the Knesset.

On Monday, Pinto, Kahana and Silman had made an agreement with Yamina on Monday to leave the party separately.

However, a number of coalition MKs who are part of the Knesset House Committee decided to block Silman’s exit.

Silman’s departure from Yamina was torpedoed by four coalition members in a move that was coordinated by Yulia Malinovsky, an MK of the Yisrael Beytenu party, and Michal Rozin, the head of the Meretz faction.

While Pinto and Kahana were not part of this plan, they decided to leave the party with Bennett, instead of departing as individuals.

Malinovsky said that Silman would get what she deserves, after she and other coalition members caused the motion to fail in the Knesset House Committee.

Bennett will merge his new faction with Yamina and the consequences will only have an impact on Silman.

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