In a sense I’m not surprised that Bibi took former MK and Minister Benny (son of Menachem) Begin out of the “boidim*,” storage space, and gave him the very safe #11 that had been rumored for Caroline Glick. I had no doubts that Netanyahu was planning on using the spot for a strong vote-getting Right wing candidate.
Benny Begin’s strong ideological credentials make up for his lack of charisma. He avoids the spotlight, rather anti-political, but his task is to reel in traditional Likud Revisionist supporters. He can do that, at least with pensioner crowd, but in all honesty, I don’t think he’ll attract anyone under the age of fifty or maybe even sixty. As I had written a number of times before, all the talk of giving that spot to Caroline Glick was so that she’d bring in the ideological Right. Caroline would have done a better job, being female and young; I guess Bibi didn’t have too many people to choose from. He needs to counteract Tzachi Hanegbi who was actively involved with Disengagement and was a stalwart founder of Kadima.
The choice of Benny Begin shows that the Likud, is hurting and Bennett’s Jewish Home is getting more attractive to young Right wing activists and potential MKs. Now that Naftali Bennett has really opened up and changed the NRP to the Bayit Yehudi, Jewish Home, even recruiting/welcoming non-Jewish Israelis, more and more of your everyday “man in the street,” “amcha” Israeli will feel more at home in the Jewish Home.
Remember that demographics are very important in predicting political trends, and not only are the Jewish Home supporters young, but they do have relatively large families. That’s why the future is in the Jewish Home rather than in Yair Lapid’s “Yesh Atid,” “There’s a Future” Party.
Now that the political parties have had to finalize their lists, I’ll have more to say.