By Moshe Feiglin
Dear Members of Zehut,
Preparations for the first "Zehut" conference have gone into high gear. The date of the conference has been set for 2 Adar 5777 (28.2.2017) and it will take place, God willing, at "Hangar 11" at Tel Aviv port.
The purpose of the conference is to awaken the political heart of the movement, and to present it in an open and respectful manner in the public eye.
Zehut is not an empty vessel serving a personality. If in the past, the role of a party name was to express the essential quality and message of the parties, these days, it is just the opposite; to hide qualities and messages. The founder of the party is the message, and his/her personal magic is the only quality. The role of a name is to sound nice, to express nothing, to bypass the intellect, and to allow everyone to throw their aspirations onto the personality.
Not so for Zehut. When we left the Likud, we rejected the recommendations of political advisors and did not take advantage of our momentum to artificially rush into the current Knesset. We insisted on creating a real political movement - a movement of a real idea, real members (not merely statistics), and real political processes - which would connect the idea and the people.
For almost two years, we have worked diligently to create the precise framework, sharpening our message and connecting to people. The name of the movement and its platform express an absolute change of direction on the political scene in Israel.
Now that we have a substantial political framework, with a real idea and real members, the time has come to launch a real political process and to celebrate - literally - the beginning of the political connection of Israel with its identity, its purpose, and its message.
The "Zehut" conference will be a very joyous occasion and will express the birth of truly new politics - the politics of liberty. We have specifically chosen the Port of Tel Aviv as the location of the event, and not one of the usual places, reminiscent of public conferences, and the stench of tasteless and underhanded political machinations.
To begin with, members will be asked to approve the election of the chairman of the movement. Next, the members of "Zehut" will be asked to approve the final language of the platform that has been put together by the membership and the platform committee. Finally, members will be asked to approve the primaries process by which the list of the movement's candidates for the Knesset will be determined.
The "primaries" method, as it has been applied in Israel, calls to mind an old joke attributed to Bismark. "Politics is like a sausage. You want to eat it, but you don't want to know how they made it..." The smell arising from the "sausage" of primaries in the Israeli version, the foul odor of coerced party signups, "deals", and tricks, have turned the internal democracy of the parties in Israel into a farce. They have paved the way for parties based on a single person and lead to the death of ideology. "Zehut" is going back and purifying Israeli politics from the filth that has become stuck to it. There will be no dirty democracy and no "clean" dictatorship.
The method, which will be brought for approval at the conference, has two steps. First there will be the selection of candidates by members of the movement (approximately 4 months after the conference). Then the ranking of the candidates on the Knesset list, in open primaries, by the general population of Israel (prior to general elections). We are talking about an important and refreshing innovation on the Israeli political scene. Aside from its novelty, the method will address the shortcomings that have turned the term "primaries" into a diseased concept. Each voter will receive 6 points, and will be able to divide them as s/he likes. Since we are not obligated to elect a fixed number of candidates, there will be no "deals", and that indecent phenomenon will not cross our threshold. Even coerced party signups lose their usefulness when the bank of voters is already every Israeli citizen.
But the most important thing is the clear message that the new method will send in the strongest language of all - the language of the body politic: the "Zehut" Party belongs to every Israeli citizen.
We belong to ALL of you.
The conference is an extremely important and significant step in our progression to our goal.
I call on all of you to come together, to get the word out, and to bring along members and interested parties to the Zehut conference at "Hangar 11" at the Port of Tel Aviv. Let us celebrate "Herut (Liberty)", and "Mashma'ut (Purpose)".
"To repair the world in the kingdom of the Almighty"