The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy

27-Mar-2006

What You Should Know To Vote Wisely

Filed under: Yamin Israel PartyCURRENT ISSUES — eidelberg @ 10:08 pm Edit This

A. Introduction

1. I’ve been in Israel almost 30 years, and I have never seen so much public confusion before an election. To penetrate this confusion, you have to go back to the January 2003 election.

2. A few days after the election, Avigdor Lieberman, who then headed National Union, convened a meeting of various representatives of the “nationalist camp.” I was present representing the Yamin Israel Party. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss whether National Union should join the Sharon government. I (and others) urged Lieberman NOT to join the government: we said it would be a betrayal of the nationalist camp.

3. Why? Because Sharon was committed to a Palestinian state. In fact, during the election campaign, Sharon warned he would not appoint anyone to his cabinet who opposed a Palestinian state—an unprecedented display of arrogance! I advised Lieberman to start a grass roots movement in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, because many people in Yesha—many prompted by Moshe Feiglin—foolishly voted for Sharon’s Likud party. By so doing they obviously increased the number of Likud MKs in the Knesset and the number of Likud wimps in Sharon’s cabinet. This bode ill for Gush Katif.

(Remember, 23 Likud MKs voted for the law that dispossessed and deported 10,000 Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria.)

4. Of course, I was not surprised when Lieberman joined the Sharon government, if only because as chairman of the Israel Beiteinu faction of National Union, he never maintained a consistent and principled position against a Palestinian state.

B. What You need to Know

1. Now, what National Union supporters don’t know is this. Lieberman could NOT have joined the Sharon government without the agreement of his colleague Benny Elon, chairman of the Moledet faction of National Union. Nor could National Union have joined that government without the cooperation of Effie Eitam, chairman the National Religious Party (now headed by Zevulun Orlev).

2. Indeed, both National Union and the NRP signed Sharon’s coalition agreement, which explicitly bound the signatories to the Oslo Agreement—and you surely know that Oslo means Israel’s withdrawal from Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. By signing that coalition agreement, National Union and the NRP legitimized the Sharon government and doomed Gush Katif. And now they want you to vote for them again!

3. But now I ask: Suppose National Union and NRP had not joined Sharon’s coalition after the 2003 election. What kind of coalition would Sharon have formed? The Likud had 40 Knesset seats. Add Shinui’s 15, and Sharon had only 55 MKs aboard—not enough to form a government.

4. It’s morally certain he could not have formed a government with Labor, because Labor had just been crushed in the election, winning only 19 seats. It was clear to everyone that Labor’s stunning defeat was the result of its “unilateral disengagement” platform, which was rejected by an overwhelming majority of the public.

5. Since the vote against disengagement was fresh in the public’s mind, this excluded a Likud-Labor government.

6. Sharon could not have formed a government with the Hareidi parties—say with Shas, which had 11 seats. Why not? Because Shinui had just campaigned on an anti-Hareidi platform and wouldn’t have dared join a government with Haredim.

7. This means that Sharon would not have been able to form a government! Stalemate!

8. It’s hard to say what would have happened, because no one would have wanted new elections. But one thing is clear: National Union and the National Religious Party made the Sharon government and were its full partners. Hence they are complicit in the crime perpetrated against the Jews of Gush Katif and northern Samaria by the Likud-led government of Ariel Sharon.

9. As a matter of honor, the chairmen of National Union and NRP should have resigned and given way to new leaders. That they now ask you to vote for them exemplifies the shamelessness that has come to characterize Israeli politics—which reached obscene proportions when part of the rubbish of the Likud formed Kadima. I don’t think any voter should perpetuate this shamelessness.

C. Key Questions

If you’re thinking of voting for a reputedly “nationalist” or religious party, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the party you have in mind take an uncompromising position against the surrender of any part of the Land of Israel?
  • Does the party you have in mind take an uncompromising position against the idea that Jews can lawfully divest themselves of Jewish land by means of a national referendum?
  • Does the party you have in mind explicitly advocate the abrogation of the Oslo Agreement which has resulted in the murder of more than 1,500 Jews?
  • Does the party you have in mind demand that the government must pursue a policy of zero-tolerance for Arab terrorism instead of its immoral policy of self-restraint?
  • Does the party you have in mind categorically oppose the release of Arab terrorists?
  • Does the party you have in mind demand that the government pursue a war-winning strategy toward Hamas, hence, that it destroy the entire Arab terrorist network in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza?

The answer to these questions is NO if you’re thinking of the Likud, National Union, the National Religious Party, Israel Beiteinu, Shas, or Torah United Judaism. So don’t waste your vote on any of these parties, or for any new party that fails to take a principled and uncompromising position on the questions or issues I just raised.

Don’t perpetuate the existing System of Governance that makes a mockery of democracy and that has actually disenfranchised the Jewish people.

D. The Alternative

1. Fortunately, there’s alternative to this corrupt system. It’s embodied in the program of the Jewish National Alliance—Hazit. Don’t confuse Hazit or its program with the propaganda of Kleiner’s Herut party. Herut is not committed to regime change, to overhauling Israel’s entire System of Governance.

2. Let’s start something New. Let’s start building a genuine Jewish Nationalist Camp. If you’re a man or woman of common sense, and if you want to preserve the Land of Israel for your children and grandchildren, you will vote for Hazit.

3. If you are a man or a woman of common sense, and if you are sick of parties that collaborate in or with a government that makes the lives of Jews expendable, you will vote for Hazit.

4. If you’re a man or woman of common sense, and if you want a party in the Knesset that will proclaim on every public forum that Knesset members should represent you and not party bosses, hence, that MKs must be individually elected by you in constituency or regional elections, you will vote for Hazitrepresented by the letter כ.

E. Conclusion

1. I urge voters to stop thinking in terms of quantity. The Shinui party had 15 members. Do you remember any of them except Tommy Lapid who quit? The 1977 Democratic Movement for Change had 15 members. Do you remember any of them? Why not? Because it had no serious program.

2. Hazit has not only a program—a program for regime change—but also quality candidates with the courage and ability to articulate this program not only in the Knesset, but on every university campus, in every yeshiva, in every community center—indeed, to carry its message to every household in Israel.

3. Moreover, Hazit will do what the Knesset has never done: we will serve as the watchdog of the government; we will expose its corruption and inefficiency and show how to remedy these costly defects.

4. The institutional reform part of Hazit’s program is something I have worked on for many years. This program is not the campaign rhetoric you are getting from any here-today-gone-tomorrow party like Herut. No, the Hazit program of regime change is rooted in the abiding beliefs and values of the Jewish people. It is set forth in my book Jewish Statesmanship, which contains a constitution based on Jewish and authentic democratic principles. No party has anything comparable to this. That’s why you should vote for Hazit [ כ ].

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Edited transcript of the Eidelberg Report, March 27, 2006—Israel National Radio.