web analytics
April 19, 2015 / 30 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Meet Religious Zionism’s New Hope


Naftali Bennett

Naftali Bennett
Photo Credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90

NB: Either we do a massive transformation and turn into a leading Jewish-Zionist party or we simply become extinct and die. In its heyday the party (originally Mafdal) had 12 seats, then 7 and now 3, while in the polls – before this big move – the party didn’t even make it past the minimum threshold. In order to survive we need to have a revolution and the revolution is already happening in the field.

We also need to change the way we view ourselves and our role in society. What I mean by this is that we need to stop seeing ourselves as just the “religious ones.” For example, in the army I was a company commander in the Special Forces and I’m currently a major in the reserves in the sayeret matkal but I never considered myself the “religious guy.” Or when I created a company which eventually had 140 employees, I never saw myself as the “religious guy.” I was the CEO, and that was my role.

In politics however we’re always allowing ourselves to be confined to this tiny little drawer. As a result the most senior minister we’re allotted is something like the Minister of Hasbara or Minister of Science. It’s ridiculous! When we talk about navigating this country, especially in light of the values we believe in, we’re simply not there to navigate. So rather than being the ones that lead the country we’re the ones that take care of the religious issues. We need to stop dealing only with the “religious stuff” and start being partners in leading the country.

YM: If I understand correctly, you essentially want to change The Jewish Home from a party that historically tries to “influence” to a party that will start “leading”?

NB: It’s even more than that. Since it’s called The Jewish Home let’s make it a real Jewish home which will include all Jews – religious, traditional and secular. In doing so we’ll turn it from a small and narrow religious home to a broad Jewish-Zionist home. That’s the overall goal.

YM: As you know the pro-Israel Zionist camp, comprised of religious, traditional and secular Israelis, is currently spread across the political map. Therefore do you really believe this powerful group, arguably the largest one in Israel, can be brought under one political umbrella for the good of the country and if so, how?

NB: The first thing that needs to be done is we need to win the primaries that are taking place in a few months and the only way this will happen is if we have tens of thousands of people registering for The Jewish Home. In this light I invite everyone to register as a member of The Jewish Home in order to vote for my group and to help us in fulfilling the vision. To make it easy we set up the website www.israelim.org.il so that people can register on-line. Please keep in mind that if you don’t register before September 8th you can’t vote.

Secondly, after we win the primaries we’ll try to invite people back. Right now there are over ten mandates in the Likud that were brought by religious Zionists. We’ll say to them “what are you doing in the Likud?” We brought the Likud to power, then Ehud Barak and the government “froze us” [the building freeze] for ten months. They simply did this as if we don’t exist. Then Netanyahu declared Ehud Barak’s vision of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria, a vision that goes against everything we believe in. Then when there was a bill to change the structure of the Supreme Court, again it was the Likud who brought it down. Likewise when there was a different bill to stop European funding of anti-Israel NGOs again it was the Likud who pulled back.

So at every junction we’re not counted and if we want to be counted we have to be strong. Look at Shas. Although we differ since they mainly take care of one sector while we want to take care of Am Yisrael, to their credit they have twelve mandates and they are one of the powerful parties in Israel. But since we’re dispersed we’re powerless. That’s the big difference.

About the Author: Yoel Meltzer is a freelance writer living in Jerusalem. He can be contacted via http://yoelmeltzer.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Meet Religious Zionism’s New Hope”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
ISIS affiliates murdering Christian Africans in Libya
African Christians Slaughtered by ISIS-Affiliates
Latest Indepth Stories
Temple Israel Of Boston

“The resentment towards us (Jews/Israelis) was really intense. They clearly hate Zionism & Zionists”

US has no problem with Egypt's bombing hundreds of homes of Gaza civilians but can't stand to see Israel destroy a terrorist's home.

Egypt has been more effective against Gazan smuggling tunnels than Israel’s military operations

Mrs. Golda Katz a"h

She had many names and was many things to many people, but to me she was just Babineni.

ISIS terrorist carries the group's black flag.

Is ISIS in Gaza? “No, but there are ISIS loyalists here..we pray to God they unite under ISIS’ flag”

Rabbi Portal was that great “inspirer,” changing people for the better, enriching the lives of all

Iran knows Obama, Putin, and the Europeans don’t have a Red Line beyond which they will go to war

There is no way to explain the Holocaust. I know survivors who are not on speaking terms with G-d. I know many who are the opposite. I have no right to go there…

When a whole side of your family perishes, friends become the extended family you do not have.

“We stand with Israel because of its values and its greatness and because its such a wonderful ally”

Mr. Obama himself inelegantly cautioned members of the Senate to be careful not to “screw up” the negotiations by seeking to have input into the future of the sanctions regime that has been imposed on Iran.

For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.

Mitchell Bard is nothing if not prolific. He has written and edited 23 books, including “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Middle East” and “The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America’s Interests in the Middle East.” Bard, who has a Ph.D. in political science from UCLA, is also the executive director of both the […]

Understanding the process described in Dayenu reveals deep relevance for us today.

For Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, the tanks, planes, and uniforms of the IDF were implements of mitzvot

More Articles from Yoel Meltzer
Photo: Naftali Bennett

In less than three months time the Jewish Home Party, formerly known as the National Religious Party (NRP), will be holding its first ever internal primaries.

Ayelet Shaked

The co-founder and former chairman of the MyIsrael (Yisrael Sheli) national movement, the recipient of the 2012 Abramowitz Israeli Prize for Media Criticism and a close associate of Naftali Bennett – the two worked together in the office of Benjamin Netanyahu prior to the 2009 elections – Shaked is raising some eyebrows due to the fact that she, unlike Bennett, is a secular candidate for HaBayit Hayehudi -a traditionally religious party.

On his attempt to hijack an airplane in 1970 to bring attention to the struggle of Soviet Jewry: “Sometimes it happens in your life that you simply feel it’s the right thing to do.”

“We need to work on instilling a good strong Jewish-Zionist identity in all of the children in Israel and not only in the religious ones. In other words we need to stop looking inward and start focusing on all of Am Yisrael.”

Rabbi Zuriel: “With the ingathering of the exiles, we need a Sanhedrin to implement various changes since Judaism is a developing matter; it’s supposed to be dynamic. He showed me in one of his works twenty items that the Tosafot changed. Today however, he added, we’re like the Karaites, we don’t want to change.

For anyone who is sick of the lies and hypocrisy – be it in Israel or the world – and really wants to work for change, it’s not enough to simply stand on the street corner and shout the truth. How something is said or how someone looks while performing an act frequently has more impact than anything else in the eyes and ears of the viewer.

Most Israelis understand that the funding of Israeli organizations by foreign governments is a way to enable these governments to advance their agenda of delegitimizing Israel.

Commenting on the role the sovereign nation-state plays in the western world compared with the Islamic world, the late Samuel P. Huntington, in his classic study The Clash of Civilizations and The Remaking of World Order, wrote: “The structure of political loyalty among Arabs and among Muslims generally has been the opposite of that in the modern West. For the latter the nation state has been the apex of political loyalty.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/an-interview-with-naftali-bennett/2012/06/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: