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November 29, 2015 / 17 Kislev, 5776
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Naftali Bennett and the Mafdal’s Last Hurrah

Why it makes absolutely no difference how many seats the Jewish Home party gets.
Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett.

Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett.
Photo Credit: Yoav Ari Dudkevitch/Flash90

Those of us who really believe Moshe Feiglin can and will lead Israel and the Jewish Nation to liberty by becoming Prime Minister have this refrain. We always say that we’re not trying to lead the Dati Leumi, or the Religious Zionist sector. We are not a sector, we do not believe in sectors, and we try to speak to the Jewish nation qua nation and leave sectors aside. We want to lead everyone and free everyone. Not lead a sector and try to cut off a hunk of publicly funded steak and bring it home to a ravenous constituency starved for tax-funded whatevers.

But even those of us with our eye on the ball sometimes lose focus for a second and get sucked back into the “sector” that we supposedly “came from,” which in most cases is the Religious Zionist sector, the srugim, or whatever you want to call them.

We see in the polls that Naftali Bennett has totally revived the old Mafdal. He’s a new exciting guy, served in Tzahal as commander of a bunch of important stuff and did heroic things and whatnot just like Ehud Barak of the new up-and-coming then out-and-going Atzmaut (literally, “Forget Labor”) Party. He was a highly successful career man and made a skrillion dollars just like Yair Lapid of the new up-and-coming and soon to be out-and-going Yesh Lapid (literally “There is Lapid”) Party. Or was it two skrillion? I don’t remember exactly. And he can talk oh…soooo…smoothly…in perfect American English…with a perfect American accent…that’s so seductive…just like…

Benjamin Netanyahu.

Mafdal, or Bayit Yehudi, or whatever you want to call it, might get a bunch of seats. Maybe 10. Maybe 15. Maybe 20. It doesn’t make the least bit of difference. Why? Because Naftali Bennett is nothing but a new Netanyahu with a kippah on. He has no conviction about anything but he can talk as if he almost does. For example, he can say contradictory things like, “A soldier should never have to choose between expelling a human being from his home and disobeying orders,” and then end it with, “A soldier should never disobey orders under any circumstances,” and state both mutually contradictory statements together with the same conviction, thereby effectively saying absolutely nothing, but making people think he has.

And then, as if he didn’t contradict himself at all, he’ll go on in the very next sentence and challenge his twin, Benjamin Netanyahu, to state publicly if he plans on expelling people from their homes again or not, as if trying to fork another politician will take the attention away from the fact that he’s trying to have his cake and eat it too as well. Well, Bennett, my little Bibi with a Kippah, if he does, what will you do? All you’ve told us is you hope it won’t happen. But what will you do? Support private property or support immoral orders?

Bennett’s long term plan is genius. Get this: He wants to wait for the Arabs to “calm down”. Of course this isn’t what Israel has already been doing since Oslo. Inspiring. That’s it! They have to “calm down”! Why didn’t we think of this before! When I think of Jewish History and our job on this planet and the reason we came back to Israel after millenia of exile, I think of Arabs “calming down,” and when I picture calm Arabs, I get this kind of religious messianic zeal. Thanks Bennett. You have a very nice kippah and a cool buzz cut.

And his slogan: “Something new is beginning.” Yes, something new indeed. Bibi now has a kippah. That’s new. And the new Bibi  says right wing sounding rhetoric without committing to any actual positions and wants to wait things out until the Arabs “calm down”. New Indeed.

Now, back to why it makes absolutely no difference how many seats the Mafdal gets. It doesn’t matter because the only interesting thing that is going to come out of this Knesset will be the Knesset speeches and Knesset actions of Moshe Feiglin from within the Likud slate. He’s going to be in the Knesset. Nothing can stop that. Likud isn’t going down to 20 seats under any circumstances. From that podium, from that pulpit, Feiglin will speak about liberty and Jewish values and Jewish leadership. And the Jewish Nation will listen. And he’ll say actual things that don’t contradict themselves. And when Netanyahu tries to do something stupid, he will fight tooth and nail and probably get sanctioned in some way or another, and he won’t be invited into Bibi’s little circle, and if he is named as a Minister he may get fired, and if he doesn’t get fired and Bibi tries to expel someone from their home, he’ll resign, and it’ll be great.

Moshe Feiglin won’t have to pull stupid political tricks like asking the “Prime Minister” from a press conference if he intends to expel Jews from their homes or not. He will be able to fight it and embarrass Bibi from within the Likud itself if he does. Bennett will be able to do absolutely nothing but yell. He won’t pull out of the government because he’ll fear someone from the Left will take his place. So in the end he’ll do nothing and say things like “I wish soldiers wouldn’t have to choose between expelling Jews and following orders boo hoo.”

Meanwhile, while Bennett pouts and stays in the coalition posing no threat to Bibi whatsoever, Feiglin will be fighting from the inside and setting the stage for his next run at the Likud leadership.

So in the end, whether Bennett has 10 or 20 seats makes no difference. He’ll stay in the government just like every other Mafdal incarnate has over the history of the sector. Sometimes we Feiglinites forget that we are not in a sector and we are not trying to get sectoral votes for our party. We are not after “Dati Leumi” votes. We don’t want the Dati Leumi all suddenly joining Likud and filling out membership forms. We don’t want the Likud to be a sector. We don’t want to turn the Likud into the Mafdal. We want to lead the nation. That means we are after the votes of people who believe in the nation, not their sector.

Someone who feels they are part of the Dati Leumi sector more than they are part of the Jewish Nation as a whole should not vote Likud. Someone who feels that they are part of the nation should vote Likud, regardless of what kippah he (or she) wears or if he even wears one at all.

When all is said and done, the Nation will hear Feiglin speak softly, like he did yesterday, that he supports anyone who refuses orders on moral grounds, left or right, as he always has. Bennett will be screaming at a wall as he continually says nothing.

Bennett will speak loudly. Feiglin will speak softly as he always does, but this time he will carry the big stick. Let the votes fall where they may, and let the Jewish People separate the leaders from the politicians. Once they do, it will be clear. This is Mafdal’s last hurrah.

Visit Settlers of Samaria.

About the Author: Rafi Farber blogs at SettlersofSamaria.org.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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