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January 30, 2015 / 10 Shevat, 5775
 
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Use Every Political Tool Hashem Has Given You

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I have said time and again, that the overwhelming majority of Israelis don’t realize the political power they have. While most eligible Israeli citizens vote on national election day, 93% of these same people sleep through primary day. Primary day is much more important than you think. It is the only day you actually vote for a person and not just a party. This is the day when the party of your choice decides who its representatives to the Knesset will be. This is the day when the Knesset slate is chosen and if you are a member of one of the few democratic parties in Israel, you – yes, you – get to choose who is on that list!

Will the Knesset list from your party be filled with people who identify with your ideology or will they be people who are opposed to it? You decide!

Will the Knesset list from your party be filled with honest politicians (yes, a few still exist!) or will they be ones who built their careers around bribes and payoffs? You decide!

Will the Knesset list from your party be filled with strong individuals with steel spines or spineless jellyfish who retreat, disengage, and surrender? You decide!

93% of Israelis are not members of any political parties and therefore decide on nothing. They come to the polling booth on national election day with the Knesset slate already set and locked. Their only vote is for which party gets in – not which person represents that party. Yet, like clockwork, that same Israeli will be the first in line to complain about this MK or that MK. What a shame. What a wasted opportunity.

For the last 12 years I have urged people to join a party, specifically one that has primary elections for the Knesset. My personal preference all these years – and I will explain why to anyone willing to listen – has been Likud, but if Likud doesn’t talk to you, then join a different party – just get MAD. This word is an acronym for Make A Difference. Don’t just sit on the side and complain but Make A Difference. Join a party where your voice will be heard and where your vote will be counted.

Today, several political parties have begun to have open primaries for their members. I salute these parties and urge all people to get involved. This is the boxing ring of Israeli politics. This is where changes can be made and where Knesset members can either be promoted or sent home on early retirement. Trust me on this one: You have that strength!

This political tool, like everything else in life, has been placed here by Hashem for us to use or ignore. Sadly, as stated above, 93% of our brothers and sisters in Israel ignore this tool, yet complain about how things are broken.

But there’s more. There is another tool that must be used in the battle for Jewish strength, unity and pride. This tool is the ability for every US citizen, even those living outside the USA with dual citizenship, to vote in USA elections. For me, this is simply another aspect of the M.A.D. program. Imagine this: You live 6,000 miles away from the closest USA city, haven’t visited America in over 10 years and no longer even eat Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. Yet – as long as you maintain your USA citizenship – you can vote in American elections! This is vital! I don’t need to tell you how important these upcoming presidential elections are and you can be a part of that! Don’t look at the numbers. Don’t ask: “Will my vote really matter??” Simply register (with no cost involved) and Make A Difference. Let the powers in America see how many expats voted. Make your voice heard in these presidential elections and in all elections in the States. That’s right, you can vote for Congress and the Senate from Israel as well! Use these tools, use every tool that Hashem has put at your disposal.

If registering to vote and voting required a tremendous investment of time, effort or energy, I would agree that they should not be done. But they don’t. Joining a political party in Israel means filling out a form and paying (based on the party) between 40 and 60 shekel per year! Once your form is processed, you will be asked to vote approximately once in 3 years! Did you read what I wrote? Once in three years. Do you think you can fit that into your schedule?

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I don’t need to tell you how important the upcoming US presidential elections are, and you can be a part of that! Don’t look at the numbers. Don’t ask: “Will my vote really matter??” Simply register, with no cost involved, and let the powers in America see how many expats voted.

Editor’s note: This week, Shmuel Sackett, international director of Manhigut Yehudit, is filling in for Mr. Feiglin.

Editor’s note: This week, Shmuel Sackett, international director of Manhigut Yehudit, is filling in for Mr. Feiglin.

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