There's lots of talk that the "far Right" Ichud Le'umi (NU) and Jewish Home (NRP) would have done better if they had stayed united as one party. That talk's from the media and those not involved. I think there would have been a lower Right turnout and fewer seats. Most of us, who had voted for the united party last elections, were disgusted, frustrating and wondering what to do with our precious vote.
Before the previous elections had I tried volunteering for the party. A few dozen of us English speaking/writing activists showed up at the NRP building on King George St., Jerusalem. We were armed with enthusiasm for a united political party of Moledet-NRP etc. We found the NRP spouting tired old slogans and knew that we were in the wrong place.
That's why Arieh Eldad's supporters established Hatikvah, but the brilliant professors backing him haven't a clue how to succeed in politics. So, again, I felt shut out. The reconstituted National Union suits my ideology. It was just very last minute and therefore didn't reach its potential. Yes, it has potential. The NRP-Jewish Home doesn't. The vast majority of its voters are old. For many it's the party of Bnai Akiva and high school memories. I come from a different world and don't have those shared memories.
Today's Israeli youth remember how disappointed they were with the NRP during Disengagement and Amona. Even their school system is in crisis. Many parents are looking for alternatives to the state-run Mamlachti-Dati system and Bnai Akiva High Schools.
NRP-Jewish Home should really close its doors. Their name change was just a PR act. The best of today's Israeli youth reminds me of the idealism of my own in the 1960's. We rejected the platitudes of our parents and looked for genuine meaning. The "sixties" wasn't just "drugging out." For those who went in that direction, it was a rejection of the post-WWII staid materialism. For many of us, our reaction was activism and idealism. That's what brought me to Torah Judaism and Zionism.
Today's national religious zionist youth (lower case letters) sees through the superficial images. That's why they live on Biblical hilltops or in non-religious cities to make a difference. The ones who have dropped out, or "took off their kippot," are obviously another story. But they're not NRP voting potential either.
Don't forget that Bibi didn't win big, because he ignored his potential voters by his words and actions. And the NRP is lucky to have made the cut this year. Its ideology is no longer relevant or attractive. Lieberman's Israel is Our Home and Ketzela-Eldad's National Union spoke clearly and got votes.
Now we're waiting for the official final distribution of Knesset seats and the coalition bribery/negotiations.
Heaven Help Us