Sunday, January 20, 2013

Why it is Important to Vote Likud

By Moshe Feiglin

After the protests led by Zo Artzeinu, we understood that the denial of our connection to the Land of Israel is actually a denial of our Jewish identity and destiny. We concluded then that a true change for Israel can only be accomplished with leadership that is guided by faith. The only political tool that enables the national camp to integrate and to set its sights on leadership for the entire nation is the Likud. That is why we joined the ruling party. One of our basic goals was to erase the divide between the national public and the observant public.

Since then and for the past 13 years, we have slowly but surely been extricating the "knitted kippah" public from the confines of its sector and integrating it into the ruling party. When we joined the Likud, there was not one knitted kippah representative on its Knesset list. Now, in the last parliaments, the Likud members have elected a roster that includes many Religious Zionists and others who have exemplified boundless loyalty to the Land of Israel and other nationalist issues. 

True, we still have a long and obstacle-laden way to go. Alongside the Netanyahu government's many achievements in running matters of state; alongside the Likud's serious support of settlements in the last few years – support testified to by all the local council heads – there are also many grievances, some of them justified. The Oslo train is still speeding on, and the fear of new, tragic political plans still leaves us feeling uneasy.

But the most deep and fundamental reason to vote for the Likud is not on the tactical plane at all. Ultimately, our votes in the upcoming elections will have very little influence on our national agenda. As long as we have not yet completely realized our goal and our national leadership is not yet motivated by faith, Israel's agenda will continue to be dictated by the Left. As we originally understood – a strategic change will only come about from the position of national leadership. We vote Likud because we are aiming to lead our nation. 

The Likud is not just another party. The Likud is an arena – the arena of national leadership. Your vote for the Knesset is actually your decision: Will you stand firmly in the arena? Or will you withdraw?

My own seat in the Knesset is apparently assured. But is your place in our vision assured? A vote for the Likud in the upcoming elections is much more than your opportunity to strengthen the faith-based, ideological forces within the party. It is a clear statement that we are capable of leading; that we are capable of competing on the ruling party's arena – and that we do not simply create illusions from within the confines of a sectarian party. When we vote Likud as a faith-based alternative, we strengthen our connection to the ruling party and weigh in on the only strategic move that can create faith-based leadership for Israel, preventing the Oslo locomotive from crushing yet another generation. 

There are those who deceive themselves into thinking that they can eat their cake and have it, too. After all, the Likud is projected to win the elections. So why not strengthen it from the Right with a party that is exactly like us?

But that is wishful thinking, sectoral temptation that has nothing to do with reality. That type of party – no matter how many seats it wins – will always be the 'spare tire.' When the strategic decisions are made, it can always be replaced with a center or leftist party.

The classic National Religious Party approach that does not strive to change reality will necessarily find itself surrendering to it: 

An example of this is the political plan of the new NRP. On a practical plane, this plan adopts the idea of a two state solution. If so, why are we complaining about Netanyahu?

This plan was followed by the quick retreat on the conscientious objection issue, and the call to obey any army order to expel Jews from their homes.

Now – even before the elections, the new NRP has given its silent nod to the inclusion of the two-state solution in the new government's guidelines, as long as it will retain its own freedom to vote as it pleases.

When you don't really mean to lead – to change reality – you pay any price to bask in the shadows of the existing leadership. 

On the other hand, from within the Likud; from the place from which we strive for leadership and real change, we have proven that we can remain firm to our principles. From within the Likud, we are also creating a new consciousness and conversation in Israeli society. We have made it clear to all that we will be there – in the next contest for leadership of the party. 

Instead of going along with the idea of partitioning the Land, we publicly introduced our proposal to encourage Arab emigration from Israel and proved its viability. This proposal dovetails with the Likud charter that calls for the declaration of sovereignty over all areas of the Land of Israel. This is the only answer for the idea of a two state partition of our Land. We will work with all our energies against the inclusion of the two-state proposal in the new government's guidelines.

We remained firm in our obligation to listen to our conscience – to the voice of G-d that calls to man from the depths of his heart, to listen to the Torah of Israel.

We will not always succeed. Large, strong forces will continue to battle us. After all, that is the nature of a true arena. But in the end we will win. We will win because we are right and because we are on the right arena. A correct perspective on reality shows that actually, we are winning all the time!
And what about you?

Dear friends, I call upon you to remember what we have already accomplished. After all, our competitors speak to you in the language that we coined (even though their actions are the exact opposite.)

I call upon you to join us and vote Likud, with the clear knowledge that you are positioned on the leadership arena, building for your children a Jewish state with leadership that believes in your vision. 

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