Moshe BurtMoshe Burt is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of the Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.
I expressed the wish that those on our side observing and monitoring the vote and vote tallies have the cunning and positioning to confront, expose and negate any cheating, manipulation, voter fraud, or other slick, slimy, White House Plumber-type "stinking maneuvers" that may be employed by the Sharon forces in the Likud.
This message is geared not just toward Likud voters and the importance of their voting against this horrendous gezeirah - the referendum for the disengagement, abandonment and expulsion of Jews from Gaza, a chunk of the Shomron, and indeed 20 yishuvim throughout Judea and Samaria. This message is directed towards referendum opponents of all political parties, of all walks of life in Israel -- datim, chareidim, chilonim, Ashkenazim, Sepharadim, etc.
Non-Likud people too can have an impact on the final result. Get on the phone and call your Likud member relative, friend, neighbor, acquaintance, business associate, fellow employee, etc. Ascertain if they need a baby sitter, a ride to and from the polls. Perhaps his auto is in the shop being serviced and he needs a lift. Perhaps his wife has tiny infants who need watching in order for her to vote. Perhaps... any number of things.
We are all in this together. Whether we like or understand it, we sink or swim together. It takes B'nai Yisrael to defeat this gezeirah -- the Likud members to vote "no" and our friends, neighbors and acquaintances to free us up to cast our votes. Together, B'Ezrat Hashem, we will crush this vile gezeirah and bring about the waves of change in Israeli governance toward real Jewish leadership, Jewish seichel, toward Jewish unity and toward the Ge'ula Shlaima.
How far you -- Moshe Feiglin, Shmuel Sackett, Zu Artzeinu, Manhigut Yehudit; how far we have come in 10 years, and more precisely, in the last three-and-a-half years. From settlement-doubling, to blocking traffic, to political activism, to linking up with the Likud to bring the Torah way to Israel via the largest right-wing party, in an effort to bring about a real Medinat Israel.
Your story started with the few, the brave, the men and women -- religious and secular, the chareidi, dati, and chiloni -- who, despite their differences, came together and put it "on the line" for G-d and for the Land against the wide array of weapons available to the regime of the time. They articulated what many thousands more felt in their hearts and in the pits of their stomachs. These Zo Artzeinu activists galvanized tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, of Jews to demonstrate, in a non-violent way, their assertiveness, self-pride, self-worth and dignity against the defeatists -- those devoid of principles who held (and still hold) positions of leadership and political power and who have lost touch with what a Jewish State means. The union of groups such as Zo Artzeinu, Women In Green and others stood/stand rock-solid against powerful political forces -- the morally bankrupt Socialist/Post-Zionists and Likudniks-turned-Leftists who rush headlong towards both Middle East regionalization, and successive governments which have abrogated their leadership responsibilities and those who seek detachment of the people Israel from their Jewish roots, history and historical proofs.
I recall reading back in Philadelphia, in the "old country", about Moshe, Shmuel, the settlement doubling, the blocking of traffic at major junctions throughout Israel, the police brutality committed upon citizens for protesting the malfeasance and dereliction of duty of their government, the arrests, the sedition trials.... Then Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) emerged from within Zo Artzeinu and began to build a movement that, three-four years later was called upon to join forces with those in the Likud who sought to bring the party back to its ideological roots, rather than to move ever further to the Left.
I met Moshe and Shmuel back in Philly. I once even broke bread together with Shmuel and his family at Northeast Philadelphia's Kosher Chinese restaurant, The Dragon Inn. And I also attended a couple of parlor meetings with Moshe Feiglin some six months before my aliyah in March, 1999.
Once have made aliyah, I remember the Kidron Valley rally where Moshe led the way in publicizing the Arab desecration of our holy places as the Israeli government stood silently by. And I remember that first convetion, where Manhigut Yehudit began signing up Likud members at Binyanei HaUma, opposite the large Aryeh Deri rally that took place the same day and at the same location.
And I watched how methodically, how workman-like, Moshe and the Manhigut Yehudit people within Likud built an organization that, upon the primaries for the Central Committee of Likud in fall 2002, won approximately 135 spots. Since then, Manhigut Yehudit has built the most cohesive, united segment of the Likud Central Committee.
It was Manhigut Yehudit at the forefront of the Likud Convention when the party voted not to support Prime Minister Sharon's advocacy of a "palestinian <sic> state." And it was Manhigut Yehudit that attempted to force a vote in the Central Committee on Sharon's Gaza abandonment, as well as for amendments to Likud by-laws, including one compelling politicians to adhere to the will of the Central Committee.
And now, thanks to Prime Minister Sharon's side-stepping the Likud Central Committee regarding his planned Gaza abandonment, we stand mere hours away from the conclusion of a referendum vote on the abandonment of Gaza and a chunk of the Shomron and more. The polls indicate a big win for the forces of Jewish Leadership.
I've had this recurring dream, a la Robin Williams in the movie Good Morning Vietnam. My dream is of an announcement over the radio, "Boker Tov, Eretz Yisrael!" With the referendum, that moment, the beginning of a new day, a new era, seems at hand.
To Moshe, Shmuel, Motti, Adir Zik, to Manhigut Yehudit and all of those in Likud who have been profiles in courage in standing up to verbal attacks, threats, brutality, intimidation and blackmail from Prime Minister Sharon, Ehud Olmert, Tommy Lapid and those forces seeking the dismemberment of Eretz Yisrael: I wish all of my brothers my Kohen's bracha of only success now and in all future endeavors. If we, the Likud members, with the support of our non-Likud brothers and sisters, vote on Sunday, both with our tefillah and with our feet (walking to the voting place) and casting our vote against Sharon's referendum on abandoning Gush Katif, then i.y.H., we'll merit to have our tefillah reach Shemayim, unimpeded, ungarbled, that the dream would become reality . As Rabbi Moshe Ungar would say each Thursday evening at his Gemara shiur back in Phildelphia, then we'll merit to demand, compel, Hashem to do "what he wants to do, to bring us the Moshiach and the Ge'ula Shlaima, the Ultimate Redemption, bim hayra v'yameinu -- speedily, in our time", like achshav -- immediately-- chik-chak, miyad, etmol!
No more Oslos, Roadmaps or territorial dismantlements. Kol ha'aretz shelanu!