Latest update: January 22nd, 2013
Aside from philosophical reasons, there are also the Likud’s practical achievements for settlements and the nation as a whole. The facts, which can easily be verified, are that despite the construction freeze two years ago; the current Likud-led government has been one of the best governments for the settlement movement in many years. The Likud has enacted many laws, including the two high-profile ones: “The Embargo law” and “The Referendum law” making it harder to uproot settlements. Ariel University Center, which was technically a college, has been upgraded to a recognized university. Owing to our Likud Minister of Education, Gideon Sa’ar, tens of thousands of school children have visited the Cave of the Patriarchs (outside the Green line) in Hevron, as part of their school trips for the first time.
Investment in settlement infrastructure, roads, culture is at its highest in over a decade – despite intense international pressure – and we are finally seeing new housing projects as well. While in general it is very hard to break down individual voting patterns, in Judea and Samaria, as we are relatively small voting group, it’s an easier task and our voting patterns will be the litmus test by which the Likud will be guided in the next four years. The thirty-thousand or so votes in our area will add maybe one mandate to Bayit Yehudi but they can mean all the difference in the world when it comes to actual support from the upcoming Likud government for roads, schools, etc.
Prime Minister Netanyahu can always count on a “security net” if not actual cabinet support from all left-wing and non-Zionistic parties for any concessions he wishes to make regardless of the size of the Bayit Yehudi. However, while Netanyahu can disregard coalition partners (that’s even assuming Bayit Yehudi becomes such a partner) without worry, what he cannot do is oust his own party members. So it behooves us to have as many loyal supporters in the Knesset who are members of the Likud faction as possible. Specifically, that means people like Ayoub Kara and Keti Shitrit, who are numbers 38 and 39 on the Likud-Beitenu list and according to recent polls will not make in to the Knesset. While technically, Netanyahu can always form a new party with his loyalists from the left, one look at Kadima’s sorry state is enough to convince that future Prime Ministers will think twice before embarking on such a voyage.
A larger Likud enables more high profile positions to remain within the party. As the foreign ministry is going to Lieberman (or his replacement), and I don’t see the interior or finance ministries leaving the Likud. The smaller the Likud, the lower the chances of the defense ministry going to a Likud member, i.e., Moshe Ya’alon, who openly opposes a Palestinian state. A voter must ask himself: Do I prefer Ya’alon as defense minister or Nissan Slominiansky (Jewish Home) as the science minister?
A smaller Likud always incurs the possibility of the President tasking some left-wing amalgamation with the formation of the government. Arab and Non-Zionistic parties have no qualms with such a move and owing to the ideology of our current president – this is unfortunately quite possible.
We all like to complain. It’s what makes us Jewish, but when we evaluate things a little more objectively, Netanyahu is actually not all that bad. In fact, other than his silly insistence on a two-state solution and associated consequences (e.g. the construction freeze), Netanyahu has been a pretty good Prime Minister. In fact, I challenge someone to name one other realistic candidate for Prime Minister today. Netanyahu represented us well in United Nations, has garnered worldwide support for sanctions against Iran, has held our economy steady even as the European Union is imploding, and contrary to what the Left is saying, Netanyahu has taken a bite out of tycoons’ pockets, has lowered our cell phone bills, and has just recently appointed Moshe Kachlon to head the Israel Land Authority – a move that will surely lower housing prices in the near future for our young families. There is still much work to be done as cost of living is still way too high – but overall, no one else today will do a better job.
About the Author: Dovid Schwartz is an owner of JewishPress.com and chairman of the Karnei Shomron Likud branch.
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