I could go on – as I have over the last few weeks – or make it simpler. There remain two parties with whom I agree – Bayit haYehudi (Jewish Home Party) and Otzma L’Yisrael (Power for Israel). I would vote for either (or both, if I could). I have to choose one and so I went and I listened, I read, I thought.
Bayit HaYehudi will work to pull Bibi Netanyahu to the right; to force him to remember and answer to his supporters, the bread and butter of the Likud party. They are also likely to get a large number of votes – currently as many as 12-14 seats in the Knesset. But…by being in the coalition, they will be forced to support measures I don’t agree with – measures they don’t even agree with.
More, I’ve been betrayed by Bibi Netanyahu and the Likud more than once. The first time was when Ariel Sharon promised me security for my vote and then took my vote and used it to implement the so-called Disengagement Plan that resulted in our expelling 9,000 Jews from more than 20 beautiful communities. The unilateral move, which Bibi Netanyahu voted for, brought us the Lebanon War and that in turn, brought us the Cast Lead War. My son knows war because Likud (and then Sharon’s new party Kadima) showed weakness and stupidity.
I don’t want my vote used, abused, betrayed. And I want to vote this time for a party that won’t promise ridiculous things to get my vote. Okay, Bayit HaYehudi, to its credit, didn’t promise ridiculous things. By contrast, I got a call from Bibi (okay, it was a taped spam message that I have to assume Likud inflicted on as many phone numbers as they could get). Bibi told me he was going to deliver security and lower housing…yeah, I believe him…not.
By contrast, Aryeh Eldad jokingly said he was “a lousy politician because I can’t promise peace, gas will be free, birds will fly backwards…and there are no taxes on words.”
But the first crack in my supporting Bayit HaYehudi was when I realized that they will get what they will get from Bibi whether they have 12 votes or 14. And to go against Bibi, they need a party to the right, an alternative, a warning. Betray me and I will go to this other party, we can say to Bayit haYehudi…if there is a party to go to – Otzma L’Yisrael.
I want to finally vote for a party not based on politics but belief. Otzma L’Yisrael – Power for Israel – is comprised of people who simply are. There is no pretending and little grandstanding. They will not shift with the wind, float to the left.
They are against a Palestinian state for the simple reason that they believe, they understand, that a Palestinian state will be used as a launching ground for phase two, the complete destruction of Israel. They are not trying to deny Arabs the right to pray at the Dome of the Rock, nor do they call for its destruction – they simply demand that Jews too have a right to pray at their holiest site.
They are not racists when they declare that Israel is a Jewish state; nor are they racist when they say that Israel is not an Arab country. There are 20 other Arab lands; this one is not. Their leaders have introduced petitions for important laws on the social front. Aryeh Eldad is a doctor by trade. He has petitioned to allow us to choose our doctors, our surgeons.
I voted. I went to vote in the only real democracy in Israel. I waited in line for 20 minutes – everyone in a jolly mood simply because we are enjoying our freedom. As I left, there was a young woman from Channel 10 doing a poll. She asked who I voted for and I told her – I voted for the strength of Israel, for the strong. I voted so that Bibi won’t betray my vote. I voted because I live in a land I love, a free, democratic country and to keep it that way, we need a spectrum in the Knesset. We need a counter as strong on the right as there is on the left.Paula R. Stern
About the Author: Paula R. Stern is CEO of WritePoint Ltd., a leading technical writing company in Israel. Her personal blog, A Soldier's Mother, has been running for more than 5 years. She lives in Maale Adumim with her husband and children, a dog, too many birds, and a desire to write. Visit Paula Stern's blog, A Soldier's Mother.The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.
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