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October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
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I Say No to Netanyahu

This is nothing new: Netanyahu, following his election in 1996, divided Hebron and signed the Wye Accords.
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Photo Credit: Yori Yanover, based on photo by Roni Schutzer/ Flash90

Following שמ article I wrote thanking Moshe Feiglin, I received an email asking if I was going to vote for the Likud in the upcoming election. I replied with a question: “What is this, spam? Of course not!”

Why not? There are many answers to that question. A few of them:

No number 1: This morning on IsraelNationalNews (Arutz 7): Prime Minister Bקnחamin Netanyahu decided, Monday, that the outline of the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Authority (PA) conflict included in his Bar-Ilan University speech will constitute part of the platform for his campaign ahead of the Knesset election in three weeks… A senior right-wing political source told Arutz Sheva, “During the next term he will uproot communities and no one can say he did not announce it in advance. 

In other words, Netanyahu is dangerous. This is nothing new. Netanyahu, following his election in 1996, divided Hebron and signed the Wye Accords.

No number 2: Various voices, in all sorts of high places, are saying that the next Defense minister will be Ehud Barak. Now, rumors are just that, only rumors. But they cannot be totally ignored. In this case, why? Barak shouldn’t have been Defense Minister in the first place. He’s a disaster. Certainly for Israeli policy in Judea and Samaria. Barak should have been replaced when he split from Labor, leaving him with a small Knesset faction, not big enough to warrant such an esteemed position in the government. We don’t want him there again. Let him enjoy his retirement at the beach where he can’t do any harm.

No number 3: True, there are many people on the Likud list who I really do admire and trust. To a degree. I was very upset when Ze’ev Elkin, who lives in Gush Etzion, stated that he’d expel Jews from their homes were he giveמ orders to do so. He didn’t have to say that. He’s a politician. He could have wiggled his way out without publicly expressing support for the most illegal command that can be ordered: Expel Jews from their homes. It’s also true that Naftali Bennett, head of HaBayit HaYehudi partyת has said some stupid things in the past couple of weeks. The difference is, 1) he’s not yet an experienced politician, and 2) his party, the people around him, would never let his words become policy, and, I believe, most, if not all the people on his list would never implement such an order. The Likud, on the other hand, has initiated and implemented such policies. I trust them less than Bennett and his friends, at least until they prove that they’re not worthy of that support.

No number four: Actually, this isn’t a no, it’s a yes. There is a way to keep Netanyahu honest, or at least, the way to prevent him from wandering too far off the path, and actualizing the statements quoted in number 1 above. This is to have a very strong group of idealistic politicians, many of whom are also religious, acting as a contra to  idiotic policies of expulsion, land abandonment and unilateral, or not so unilateral decisions on a ‘two-state solution.’

So, you ask, who am I voting for? I’m not making a campaign pitch for any one party. However, there is a very high possibility that Hebron will have three representatives in the next Knesset. My friends and colleagues, Orit Struk and Rabbi Hillel Horowitz are both listed in realistic slots in the Jewish Home party, at least according the most polls. Baruch Marzel will also get in if Otzma l’Yisrael – Power to Israel receives enough votes for three mandates. That also seems to be a realistic possibility. (I’m really looking forward to debates between MK Marzel and MK Tibi and MK Zuabi and MK Struk. Will be very interesting.)
Personally, I trust both of these parties (Jewish Home and Power to Israel). Others have helped us in the past, from many of the parties, including Kadima, Likud, Shas, Yahadut HaTorah, and others. But when it comes to putting one ballot in the box, I go with one of those two. Of course, it’s important to ensure that they both get in; if Otzma l’Yisrael doesn’t get the minimum two mandates, all their votes are lost, wasted. But, as far as polls can be believed, they’re going to make it. The question is whether they’ll get two or three MKs in the next Knesset.

Feiglin’s people say that voting for such parties is “sectoral,” while voting for Likud is “mainstream.” Nonsense. The way to help Moshe Feiglin in the next Knesset is to have Hillel, Orit and Baruch, together with all their MKs, on his side, helping him push for what he believes in. Without them, he’s liable to be lost in a sea of iniquity.
Each election is important. Sometimes we say that they are “fateful.” It’s true. Who could have imagined that, following the 1992 Rabin victory, Israel would sit down with Hitler #2, shake hands, and kiss and hug him? Who could have predicted that Netanyahu would divide Hebron? Who could have dreamed, in their wildest dreams, that Sharon would abandon Gush Katif and expel 10,000 Jews from their homes? So elections are fateful, and also unpredictable. Actually, the elections are not as unpredictable as the policies instigated and actualized by the victors.

There are things we have control over, that we have what to say about. We’re not prophets who can read the future. So, at least for the time being, we must choose as wisely as we can. And voting for Netanyahu is definitely not wise. That’s why I say No to Netanyahu.

About the Author: David Wilder is the spokesperson for the Hebron Community.


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