Tuesday, November 29, 2005


***the debate continues in these comments; join the action!

The Israeli political system has been evolving over the years, and just as I'm writing this I realize that I've been a "participant" for a majority of those years. We have been here since 1970.

First of all, the Knesset is divided by "proportional representation." That means that you vote for a party/ideology/platform and the 120 seats are divided in proportion to the votes. But it's not that simple, because the minimum percent for a party to be in the Knesset has gone up a lot. It used to be possible for one person to get in as a sole, solitary one-person political party. But now it has gone up and one needs enough percentage points for at least three, or has it been raised since? Sorry, I can't remember.

But this is important. It is now much more difficult for a new party to make a successful showing. That's why massive pressure must be put on Baruch Marzel and Paul Eidelberg to cease their attempts to run for the Knesset as a separate party. They have already run and lost, and it's not just whatever money was wasted. The votes they got would have gone to other patriotic or religious or chareidi parties giving a total of 4-6 extra seats to the block if not more. Instead those seats went to the Likud and Labor. Yes, it's complicated.

B'ezrat Hashem, with G-d's help, the National Religious Party, Mafdal, will join with the Ichud Le'umi, National Union. Former NRP members joined before the last elections.

The NU reminds me of what was the best of the T'chiya Party, which just missed getting back in the Knesset the year that Rabbi Levinger and Daniella Weiss ran for Knesset as a new party. They didn't get in either, causing a massive waste of votes and potential religious & patriotic Knesset Members.

T'chiya included Geula Cohen, Moshe Shamir, Yuval Ne'eman and Channan Porat. It was a wonderful coalition of Jews. I remember once at a T'chiya "chug bayit," "parlour meeting," someone asked Geula if T'chiya was a religious party. Her answer was: "No, it's a Jewish Party." And that's what we need again.

And we need a Jewish Government with Jewish Values. And most of all we need UNITY. And in order to unify, sometimes you have to compromise on details.

We all need to vote for and support a political party with a clear vision. This vision must be of Jewish settlement in all of the Land of Israel. We must take responsibility for our own security and not rely on any other country or international body. It is better to develop our own industry, rather than accepting coupons (foreign aid.) By becoming economically independent, we will reduce unemployment, thereby getting fiscally stronger at the same time.

Jewish and World History has proven over and over that we cannot count on any other country, people or international organization to save ourselves.

Not only Ariel Sharon and other left-wing politicians have been saying they want to, or are willing to, give our Land, most of what remains of Judea and Samaria to the Arabs. Almost all of the Likud politicians, including Bibi, Uzi and Sharansky, will give Land away "when the Arabs agree to..." and some, even if they don't. Remember who supported Disengagement or sat by passively as Jewish homes, schools, businesses and lives were destroyed. Yes, lives, because today the vast majority of Disengagement victims are homeless and jobless. Family dynamics have changed for the worse. The results will take their time to fully show. G-d forbid.

We need strong leaders who are ready to contribute to our country without being "party head" or even members of Knesset. This isn't the time for egos. It's the time to contribute whatever we can.

Let's focus on what's really important. Let's save our country, our Land and our People! UNITE!!


yitz said...

Hi Batya,

I basically agree with just about everything you write in this and the previous 2 posts. But I'm also concerned that the BIG PICTURE is being lost, which I think is expressed somewhat by Jameel, tho not fully.

What do I mean? A number of things. The Navi tells us, על מה אבדה הארץ - על לא שמרו תורתי.

Yes, we've lost some of the Land already and in no small part due to a lack of Torah observance. We are not going to change "the world" or even little Chiloni Israel overnight, but certainly an effort for real Jewish education must be made, for Am Yisrael HaShochen b'Tzion is very far from understanding the Kedushat Ha'aretz inherent in every square centimeter [or inch] of Artzeinu HaKedosha. Without this, we are faced with a dire situation, in which the "pals" will continue their "armed struggle" until more and more Land is handed over, and unwitting or plain stupid Israeli gov'ts will do their bidding.

BUT MOREOVER, we also need to UNITE with our Chiloni, that is, not-yet-Torah-observant brethren. Right now, we are in a very dire SECURITY situation, with Kassams poised at Hadera and Afula, with the handover of the Northern Shomron. And of course, with the entire Gaza Strip turned into Hamastan.

This fact was virtually IGNORED by everyone who opposed the ridiculous but tragic expulsion. Everyone emphasized being expelled from "our homes, our businesses," etc. but did not get the rest of pre-67 Israel to see how THEY would be affected.

Perhaps only Aryeh Eldad saw this - and David Bedein. This message must somehow be conveyed to secular Israelis, that the upcoming continuation of Oslo inherent in a vote for Peretz, Peres, Sharon, Meretz, etc. is a danger to THEIR VERY LIVES, safety and well-being, and of course, to their loved ones.

And, IMNSHO, there is a need for now, more than ever, for as broad a coalition of rightwing and religious parties, including Likud, NU, Mafdal, Aguda, Degel, Shas, Marzel, and whomever else wants to join. My hope is that if some kind of co-operation between all of these can be formed, they could actually CONTROL the Knesset and we'd avoid the tragedy of a left-wing gov't.


Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Yitz - Even if we do obtain some sort of unity, there isn't any LEADERSHIP. However, I'm very pessimistic that we'll be able to form a majority coalition of the parties Batya mentioned above.

If we want to seriously provide an alternative to Sharon/Quadima/Labor, then we need a leader to rally around. Who and where is that person? In 1996, the only way we won, was by rallying around Bibi against Peres.

To exclusively rally around a party, or a group of parties will not be as appealing a choice to people who want to vote for a person...like Sharon.

BTW, Before Batya goes after me again, I am NOT endorsing Netanyahu. For the sake of this posting, I'm not endorsing Feiglin either.

yitz said...


If Netanyahu can unite the right, why not? I have serious doubts about this, especially in light of his inaction during the expulsion, and his kowtowing to American pressure to sign the Wye agreement & give away Chevron.

I think it's high time that Israeli leaders are held accountable to their voters, and perhaps a law should be passed in the Knesset that would cause anyone not keeping to the party's platform to lose his Knesset seat until [at least] the next election.

I think I speak for many when I write that we are tired of seeing countless people "jumping ship" from one party to another, for a Volvo or an exemption from prosecution for their criminal acts! WHERE'S THE ACCOUNTABILITY???

Speaking of this, when are we bringing Sharon, Peres and the rest of the criminals to justice?? Enough already!

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Yitz: Maybe when we have a majority, we'll be able to bring charges against Sharon, Peres, Beilin & co.

Its exactly because of the reasons you gave that I doubt Netanyahu will unite the right. My comment was more to prevent Batya from going after me on being a Bibi supporter...

Batya said...

Jameel, bubbeleh, are you afraid of me? Have you heard something from my students?

Look, Bibi and I are peers. We both grew up in America at the same time etc. I can see through him, and he's not our man.

I think that Mafdal becoming a faction of NU is mashiach quality. Religion, Torah and Tradition aren't only for the "dati'im."

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Batya: I don't disagree with you on Bibi, OK? :-) Not fear...just respect!

The problem IMHO is that I think it will be very difficult to sell NU/mafdal to such a large majority of chilonim...to turn NU into a party of Likud's size and power.

The stigma of right wing looney (hey, I'm one myself) is not easy to shake off and attract alot of voters...and for that to happen, we need a very charismatic leader. Do you have one in mind?

I don't.

Anonymous said...

I really don't buy it. Voting for Mafdal is voting for Orlev and Yahalom who have proven to have taken the wrong path (and still on the wrong path) and not regreted it either. Too bad Finkelstein is not leading.

National Union seems the natural alternative, but they also seem a bit too 'pragmatic' and frankly, not a pure choice.

I don't buy [Israeli] democracy anymore. If you haven't realized yet that we live in a fascist, dystopian, and non-democratic state in which the knesset is a corrupt shrine of crime (today decided that Omri Sharon is not being dismissed), than you can still vote and think that you're making a 'difference'.

The only entity that will save us is god. The knesset might be one of the tools he uses to pursue our redemption, or not. Hishtadlut is always the name of the game, Which is why...

...if you are not going to vote because the state has let you down, become a blasphemy, or whatever, than you are basically giving more weight to votes of the Arabs, left, and people who think they are 'right-wing'(Likud). Being 'Neturei Karta' is not the answer to Sharon and the knesset.

Marzel and the Chayil party would easily get passed the threshold if religious people stopped badmouthing initiatives like his and minded their own business. In the last election, more energy was wasted by the religious right in badmouthing Kleiner and Marzel rather than trying to sell/support the other parties. Think about it!

I try to distance myself from those 'anti' people. They call Marzel a whacko, and then take out expensive ads in Hazofe and Makor Rishon telling us why it's important not to vote for Marzel and small parties.

Jewish Unity is not a slogan to describe what 'your 'party' is doing. Unity means 'I support true Jewish parties'.

Stop wasting time looking for a leader on the right to unite us. Netanyahu is treif. He supported the expulsion, and will support more of them too.

Stop wasting time being against Marzel and try to pursuade me why I should vote National Union and Mafdal, neto. Until now, nobody has managed to even come close.

And FWIW, if Keiner/Marzel hadn't run, I can only assume that those votes would have went to the, drumroll please; Haredi parties, Mafdal, and NU. Absolutely, nothing would have changed!!! but we would have had a lucid voice in the knesset with two seats.

But I know that my conscience is clean. What about yours?

Batya said...

Josh, I don't know what you mean by "a lucid voice in the knesset with two seats"
A party with two seats doesn't get in. It's under the minimum percentage.

yitz said...

Jameel, the PR work we need to do is to show that it's the lunatic Oslo-enthralled messianic LEFT that are the loonies, not the rational, security-conscious RIGHT!!! That's where we need to educate the people - and why aren't we doing it? What happened to Panim-el-Panim?

Josh -- If G-d isn't a capital "G" in your life [with the "o" or the "-" hyphen, doesn't matter], then we're in trouble! I hope you just missed the shift button by mistake.

Mafdal-NU may not be the best people to run Israel, but it's a start. Marzel is unfortunately too marginal, at least for now. [Maybe if we get some good PR and Panim l'Panim going, that'll change!]. There is also talk of co-ordination between the Chareidim & the Dati'im, and let's not be too cynical about that - we need all the unity we can get!

see: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=93935

We must be aware of the EVIL all around us, especially in the members of Knesset, and try to find those least tainted, or perhaps even a little bit pure. Unity between all like-minded people on the right would go a long way in insuring that the EVIL ones don't succeed in more expulsions, lapses in security, etc.


Anonymous said...

If anyone can bridge the haredim and 'mizrachim', it's Marzel who at least has the ear of many admorim.

"Marzel is marginal, maybe that'll change"? First of all, that will never change. The media will always be against him. With Marzel, what you see is what you get. Don't let others make up your mind.

(and by the way, I usually miss the shift button on many words, but ultimately, the english language is not holy. god is not one of hashem's names, and not even a hyphen is necessary, let one on the computer screen. Write god out a thousand times on a paper and you do not need to put it in gniza. Confirm this with a rabbi.

However since it is not prohibited mi d'oraisa to write out the translated name of G-d, since it may be erased (see the Shach in Yoreh De'a 179:11), there are those who intentionally write out (just like you mentioned) the name of G-d in other languanges, just to demonstrate that it may be erased. (Rav Soloveitchik z"l is said to have done such).

Not that this is a heter, just that the issue of writing god's name, or a translation, or transliterated in a foreign language is disputed by many. If I write hashem is that ok, or do I have to write Hashem.)
please do not take my tone to be ridiculke, I apologize if it might come across that way.

in the last elections the threshold was two seats, this time it is three. When Kahane was in the knesset, he was a beacon in a dark swamp and I'm sure that I don't have to remind you that he wasn't a one-item party as everyone would like to paint him. Voting for National Union is not going to save us. They aren't even aiming to rule so what's the point of having them 'in the government' with two ministers again? Absolutely nothing, and it's proven. I give credit to Feiglin for making me realize that. The religious fail politically because all they want is the education and shikun posts. So if we know that National Union will, with the most optimistic hope, get twenty seats, they will still be poodles to what, the likud? If they even manage to regroup.

tell me honestly. Do you want National Union sitting with the Likud (bibi, shalom, livnat, katz) in a government? Or alternatively, when National Union goes to coalition talks with Sharon, won't you puke? So we are condemning NU to sit worthlessly in the opposition anyways.

Belittling Marzel is also belittling the many, many people who believe in what he stands for but they are ridiculed for being marginal and keeping them out of the election booths as well.

Batya said...

You know guys, I'd really like to see Marzel in the Knesset. That's why he must either join NU or one of the chareidi parties.

and it seems like the "action" is moving to my next post...

Anonymous said...

All the parties that are currently in the Knesset have failed us. they disengment happened and they didn't stop it. what diferent will 4-6 more seats in NRP do? Did it make a difference this time? I have to vote for the people I really believe in, not the "smart" choice. If we all voted for who we really believed in, then those people would be elected. But we choose to "play it safe" and vote for the guy that has a better chance. Marzel and Eidelberg will never join the other parties because they are uncompromising. That's why I like them and that's why I'm voting for them. If you really want things to change, vote for someone really different. Otherwise things will go the way they have been going.

Batya said...

With the high minimum needed to get in, it's not so simple.

and it's not enough to have good ideas. One has to know how to work with others to pass laws and enforce them. Uniting wiht another party is good practice.