Elections 2006: Joe Settler Endorses…
If you had asked me last year which party I would endorse for the next elections, by default I would have said the National Union.
I respect Benny Elon and Aryeh Eldad both as individuals and as upright, unwavering legislatures. Once Efi Eitam joined their party I felt they presented an appealing team that well represented many of the national and partisan issues important to me.
I admit, I don’t see any of them as national leaders as much as I see them as partisan leaders (even though their platform covers a wide range of issues), but that is fine as none of them were/are in any position to take their place as a national leadership candidate (I think Efi Eitam made a huge mistake by not joining the Likud and Manhigut Yehudit from the start – which would have made him a candidate for Prime Minister, and to me, making that mistake means he isn’t right for the position).
Voting for a partisan party is as close as you can get to directly electing your representative in Israel (except for joining a party and voting in the primaries – which is also very important to do – even if it isn’t the party you vote for in the regular elections), so while I may not get to select the “Prime Minister” at least I get to elect the equivalent of my local representative.
But I also must admit that I was disappointed by all their roles in the disengagement. They participated and stood side-by-side in the field quite properly, but I didn’t see any of them coming out and acting like the strategist and leader that we needed. I saw none of them properly positioning the “troops” or providing the leadership and control that was needed say at Kfar Maimon, which could and should have been anything but the beginning of the end – had it been played out differently.
But as I said, by default the National Union would still have gotten my vote.
But then they joined forces with the Not Relevant Party (Mafdal). Instead of letting this useless political party die, or pull a “Meimad” and join the Likud, the NU saved it and not only threw these politicians a life preserver, but they gave them the best seats on the boat.
I have zero respect for the leaders of the Mafdal and I don’t mean just their actions leading up to the disengagement, I mean in general. I’ve discussed them elsewhere so there is no point in repeating myself here, but in short I will not give my vote to Mafdal. Period.
This certainly puts me in a dilemma. I won’t vote Likud because while I think Bibi has better potential to do it right this time, he will probably be thrown out and Sharon’s boy Silvan is going to take over. Certainly Limor Livnat doesn’t deserve my vote.
Going to the other side, in my eyes that only leaves Baruch Marzel (Hazit) and Kleiner (Herut).
I won’t vote Kleiner (Herut) because if I’m going to vote Right not only do I want a party that cares about religious issues, but I want a party whose political views stem from Judaism and where Judaism is central to their ideology, not something peripheral to it. Nor does Kleiner have any politically charismatic attraction that makes me want to vote for him.
This basically leaves me with Marzel.
And Marzel leaves me with a big problem.
But before I get to the problem, let’s discuss Marzel. He’s religious. He’s ideologically unambiguous. He manages to easily get the establishment (and others) worked up like another former Knesset member we won’t mention by name. And certainly if I’m voting partisan, he’s that.
As Mrs. JoeSettler mentioned in a recent TV interview, Marzel will represent and fight for Jewish interests in Israel and worldwide, regardless of what the world says or thinks. He has Jewish pride and Jewish values and that is what he will try to promote.
I would have been most happy if his party had joined the National Union.
But the problem is, as the National Union keeps trying to hammer into our heads, is that Marzel probably won’t make the minimum number of votes to get in. My vote will be thrown away.
I’ve given that a lot of thought. A vote for Marzel might be like a vote for Kadima (or just not voting).
But you know what? That’s wrong.
I need to vote for whomever I think will best represent what I want, without calculating his chances of getting in. Right now that is Marzel.
And let’s look at the reality, let’s look at the two most likely political constellations.
If Kadima forms the government (most likely situation right now) then the NU will be just some weak opposition and an extra seat or not really won’t matter. (Kadima, Shas, Aguda/Degel, Leiberman).
If the Likud and Labor join together, you can also guarantee that the NU won’t be in that group (Likud, Labor, Aguda/Degel, Shas, Leiberman).
A strong right-wing block? With who? Leiberman is effectively just as left as Kadima is, Shas and Aguda will go with the money, and we would be left with a constellation of parties that isn’t particularly Right, but is holding together to simply foil Kadima (which for Leiberman, Aguda/Degel and Shas isn’t really that important, as they would sit in a Kadima government).
I don’t see the NU being that important or key that a vote for them will change anything, prevent the next disengagement, or get this government to fight terrorism, or anything else I value.
In short a vote for NU will also be throwing my vote away (and I won’t give the Mafdal a seat).
If Marzel gets in (and is allowed to stay in) then at least he can irk the establishment and do it with impunity (and immunity) as well as represent a lot of my political legislative goals.
If Marzel doesn’t get in, well the way I see it, nothing is really lost, and I voted for the person I most wanted to get in (based on existing choices).
As a last point, I’ve noticed that a lot of religious Sepharadim are planning on voting either Shas or Marzel. They feel that Marzel would best represent their religious, social, and political goals and needs. Again, their only question is whether he will get in. In my opinion Shas will have enough seats anyway and will sit in any government. Better they should vote for Marzel who will represent them more completely.
Joe Settler endorses Baruch Marzel and Hazit for Knesset 2006.