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DEPT. OF EVERYBODY

The See-through Yarmulkes and the Right of Return

The big question, of course, is where does the Jewish Home get its new votes?
Naftali Bennett (c) at his primaries victory party, November 7, 2012.

Naftali Bennett, after he was elected in 2012 to lead the Jewish Home party.
Photo Credit: Yossi Zeliger/Flash90

At this juncture, two and a half weeks before the coming elections for the 19th Knesset, the big surprise – unless we due for some shocking turn of events – is going to be the success of the Jewish Home list led by Naftali Bennett. All the polls are promising the Jewish Home will triple its power, and some optimists are predicting an even bigger victory.

In any event, this will be the first time that the Jewish Home party, built on the ruins of the old NRP, has turned from a purely sectoral party into a wide-ranging Israeli party supported by voters who are religious and secular, Ashkenazi and Sephardi Haredim (it’s a fact!), young people voting for the first time and older people, men and women.

Now, it’s true that King Ahab of Israel has cautioned: “One who puts on his armor [before the battle] should not boast like one who takes it off [after the victory].” (Kings I 20:11) Perhaps for that reason, or perhaps because he wants to stop Jewish Home activists from resting on their laurels, Naftali Bennett has been trying, in meetings with supporters and on other occasions, to cool down the excitement and to lower expectations. He speaks “only” about 12 seats, which is also, you’ll have to admit, a nice figure compared to where he started.

The big questions, of course, are where does the Jewish Home get its new votes? Where do these 7 to 10 additional seats that are adding up in the polls come from? And who are the Jewish Home’s new voters?

We’ll start with the most natural pool of voters: the National Religious public that in the past rejected the politics of both the NRP and the National Union, deserting both of their organic parties to roam instead in foreign lands. The stale image that stuck to the brand NRP also did it in. The National Religious are used to joking that there’s no such thing as a guy under 40 wearing a knitted yarmulke who’s ever voted NRP. Young people who graduated from the national-religious school system—the NRP’s baby—studied in Hesder yeshivas—also cultivated by the NRP—and went to college in Bar Ilan—once again, a creation of the NRP, for some reason have been opting in their later years to kick the NRP down, ignoring the most basic obligation of gratitude. Let’s not go into a long discussion of their reasons for the moment.

THE RIGHT OF RETURN

The enormous pool of voters whose ingestion and birth took place inside Religious Zionism has been scattered in the wind. It landed in the Likud, in Shas, in Labor, in Torah Judaism and in Kadima. Their slogan used to be: anything but the NRP. The image—not necessarily true—of their organic party as an assembly of hacks seeking patronage jobs has kept them away from their natural home.

Now they’re coming back. They utilize their right of return. They’re returning from the Likud, following a list of deep disappointments:

Netanyahu’s commitment to the concept of “two states for two nations,” and his insistence on holding on to it even nowadays (never mind MK Hotoveli’s utterly nonsensical claim this week that Netanyahu’s 2-state slogan was only a tactical move).

 Netanyahu’s housing construction freeze in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, reminiscent of the British “White Paper” of 1939, a decree no leftist government had ever imposed.

 The indifferent, even criminal attitude regarding to infiltration by 60 thousand Muslim illegals from the Sudan and Eritrea, most of whom are criminals and certainly not refugees.

 The torpedoing of the Certification Law proposed by MK Zevulun Orlev, which would have prevented the needless destruction in Migron, Ulpana Hill, and other places.

 The bowing before the corrupt “Cult of Justice,” whose nine high priests on the Supreme Court only this week empowered terror-supporter Haneen Zoabi to run for the Knesset, depriving the State of Israel of its right to defend itself against the fifth column within.

Had the Likudniks minded public opinion, they would have taken more seriously the findings of the Ma’agar Mochot survey from November, 2011, which reported that a huge majority, 75 percent of the public, thinks the high court has a leftist bias. Leftist? They’re leftier than leftists. If only the Likudniks were loyal to their voters… How did it happen that out of the 55 thousand attorneys practicing law in Israel, only the anti-nationalist Yehuda Weinstein was picked for the job of Attorney General? Have they not yet internalize the idea that justice must also be seen?

About the Author: Born in Tel Aviv in 1943. Graduated Bar Ilan University (Political Science and History) and Haifa University (Political Science). Chaired the Maariv political desk for 24 years. Married with children and grandchildren. Living in Raanana.


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2 Responses to “The See-through Yarmulkes and the Right of Return”

  1. Mr. Rahat, excellent analysis and excellent journalism. The list of deep disappointments is explains much. I hope Israel will embrace Zionism fully and without compromise in this election.

  2. I'm ashamed to say I know next to nothing of Jewish politics. It just seems that if Israel goes so shall the the US and vice versa. Israel seems like an oasis of good sense and common decency right smack in the middle of a perfect arab storm bent on its destruction……it has everything going against it including an inept, know-nothing American public and now a Obummer terror friendly government which has embraced the Muslim Brotherhood and the Jew Hating Acadamia that has helped to pervert our National Defense and even our public discourse via a corrupt media. It's heartbreaking. All I can do is recommend books I've read. And at the top of the list is The Haj by Leon Uris. I hand out the name of that book like a religious tract. If you're trying to explain to a friend what the Middle East-Israel-Palestinian-"right of return" is all about simply hand them this book.

    At one time I was one of those who thought Islam was just another religion. Even after 9/11. I've tried to see both sides of this issue and in the spirit of hearing both sides I purchased several Korans, A Summarized Bukhari and Taha's Second Message of Islam.

    It was the Bukhari that tipped the scales for me. Instead of going into a big dialogue I'll just say that as I read Sheikh Abdullah bin Humaid's article on jihad, (which features promenently in this "holy" book.), my hair stood on end. I sincerely, truly thought that someone had sent me a volume that the publishers reserved for their more “radical” friends. To this day I've incorporated it into a challenge I've sent out to dozens of Muslims, including Dr. Mohsen El-Guindy. Who, instead of sending me a response, suggested I read his books. I didn't do that but I printed out a bunch of his lengthy articles and read every single one. I won't waste any more time on this nut however here's the challenge:

    If Islam is the religion of peace, where in Abdullah bin Humaid's article on jihad can I find the equivalent of “Love Thy Neighbor”? “and good will toward men”? And explain its prominence, (and significance), in a book that's considered second only to the Koran; My Summarized Sahih Al-Bukhari. Also address “jihad” as it's defined in Reliance of the Traveller and answer the same question. Also compare Humaid's “jihad” and Emmet Fox' Sermon on the Mount and tell me which one best represents a spirit of Love and compassion.

    I have yet to get an answer from any Muslim I've sent this to.

    I was going to end here but I'll just say that I've had a book in my hand every day since I can remember. There has not been a single book or story that I've read about Jews that didn't involve heartbreak. As far as I'm concerned this speaks to the evil and unfairness that is Islam in that they can't even grant a sliver of land to a peoples who have been persecuted and slaughtered all through history. You'd think that after the Holocaust the Muslims would cut them some slack. But then I remember that the Holocaust is last thing on earth the Arabs want people to remember… ….they participated in it.

    Here are some books:

    The Haj by Leon Uris.
    Muslim Mafia by Gaubatz and Sperry.
    Because They Hate by Brigitte Gabriel.
    “Slavery, Terrorism and Islam” and “Holocaust in Rwanda” by Peter Hammond.
    The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America by David Horowitz.
    Ivory Towers On Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America by Martin Kramer.
    The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism by Andrew G. Bostom
    The Legacy of Jihad by Andrew G. Bostom MD
    A Concise History of the Crusades by Thomas F. Madden
    The Book of Jewish Knowledge by Nathan Ausubel.

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