We Don't Have the Luxury of Not Voting

The elections are in two weeks, and I want to specially address those among us who declare that they don't intend to vote. I, too, feel only contempt and revulsion for the election campaign.

Nadia Matar,

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The elections are in two weeks, and I want to specially address those among us who declare that they don't intend to vote. I, too, feel only contempt and revulsion for the election campaign.

"Look," you say - and rightly so - "the last elections brought a presumably 'rightist' government to power, and it betrayed us, it deported thousands of Jews from their homes, and it handed over portions of the homeland to the Arab enemy, who turned the area into Hamastan." This is correct. Undoubtedly, with the exception of two, or perhaps three, members of Knesset, all the MKs disappointed, deceived, lied, betrayed, did nothing or did not do enough. The spontaneous response to this is: "If so, then why should I bother to go and vote? I'll stay at home, and I won't continue to take any part in this farce."

But after thinking for a while, we must understand that we don't have the luxury of staying home and not voting. What can we do? The upcoming election is really a referendum on the future of the settlement enterprise in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. It also raises the question of whether Israel is a Jewish state or a state of all its citizens. Accordingly, without discussing the question of whom to vote for, we must get out of our easy chairs and take part in the activity to persuade the majority of the people for whom not to vote. All our efforts must be directed to prevent Ehud Olmert and Kadima from winning the election. This cannot be achieved by staying home and not voting.

To anyone who tells me: "But the other candidates aren't any good, either," I answer: "True, but we were taught to "shun evil and do good." First of all, we must ensure that the worst of all evils does not get into power. After that, we will be ready to take care of the lesser of the two evils.

The Olmert gang is the worst and most dangerous. If, Heaven forbid, Olmert were to receive a majority, he - together with all his friends, Israel-haters here and abroad - will interpret the election results as a mandate from the people for the total elimination of the entire Jewish settlement movement in Judea and Samaria (and even in the Golan). In essence, it means: the deportation of more than 250,000 Jews from their land; a return to the '67 borders; the establishment of a Palestinazi state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza; the persecution of nationalist Jews, the religious and the ultra-Orthodox; the expunging of any Jewish character that the State of Israel still possesses; and a total surrender to all the demands of the Arab enemy.

If, with God's help, Olmert does not win, and a right-wing, national, national-religious and ultra-Orthodox bloc takes power, there obviously will be problems, disappointments and struggles with this bloc, as well. But if those in this bloc will - Heaven forbid - want to betray Eretz Israel or Judaism, then we will be able to say to them: "You do not have a mandate! We will no longer tolerate deceitful politicians. If you dare to once again betray the platform that you are supposed to represent, this time we won't act with restraint! We will break all the rules." In short, we will hold the cards and have the power for "the will of the people is with us." This is nothing small, nor anything to trifle with. Unfortunately, that will not be the case if, Heaven forbid, Olmert were to win.

It is worthwhile to leave the house and to vote, even only in order that Olmert should not get in. Not to mention that it is important that we have at least a few MKs who faithfully represent the Land of Israel, the Torah of Israel, and the Jewish People of Israel. Thank God, our camp, the Orange Camp, is a great and mighty traditional camp. If each person commits himself not to remain home on Election Day, then we will ensure that all of the candidates who are loyal to Eretz Israel will enter the Knesset, where they will constitute a force against the Left and the Arabs. They will, in fact, influence the weak and servile members of Knesset, even those in the national camp.

As the journalist David Bedein wrote in one of his articles: apathy is a tool of totalitarian democracies. We must shed this apathy and act. It is essential, in addition to voting on Election Day, that in the next two weeks, we commit ourselves to take part in the "Moving to the Right" campaign. That is, to persuade those who plan to vote to move to the Right. Everyone should volunteer for this mission according to his capabilities: some people will take a list of telephone numbers from the Moving to the Right headquarters, and spend much time in conversations with the people of Israel to persuade them. Others will stand at intersections with informational material, stickers and posters, and generate an anti-Olmert atmosphere in the street - which is extremely important, in order to circumvent the media that is mobilized for Olmert. Our movement, Women in Green, distributes the "Olmert is Dangerous for the Jews" sticker to anyone who requires them.

The impression that we gained from conversations with people on the street or on the telephone is that Olmert does not have a majority. The polls lie, just as they lied when Shimon Peres ran for president of the country and they told us that he would win. But the atmosphere on the street is still one of despair, depression, tiredness and general lack of interest in the election campaign. Our mobilization on the streets and in talks with people is capable of effectuating a change for the better.

Practically, I would divide the activity to prevent Olmert's rise to power into two:

1. We must engage in increased effort within our camp, to ensure that our public goes to vote and does not stay at home on Election Day. The fact is that insufficient work has been done in this area.

2. The public at large must be persuaded to "move to the right." A considerable portion of the people living in Gush Dan who plan to vote for Kadima are doing so without any good reason - because it's fashionable, because they think that there is no alternative or because they do not really understand the significance of such a choice. If we explain to them that the fate of their individual home is linked to the fate of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, then they will begin to think twice.

Yes, it's true, a sizable portion of them are apathetic to Zionist ideology, to the deportation of Jews and the handing over of sacred parts of the homeland to the enemy. If, however, they will understand that, in place of Jews, the hills in Judea and Samaria will be controlled by terrorists from the Hamas and Al-Qaeda, who will fire at airplanes taking off from Ben-Gurion - and they will no longer be able to go abroad on vacations without the fear of being targeted by Kassam rockets or SAM-7 missiles - then they will think twice before voting for Kadima. Someone I know summed up his persuasive efforts with these people in a single sentence: "Olmert will establish a Hamas state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, which means Kassams on your house without the IDF lifting a finger in your defense."

Another point that could convince all sectors of the population that it is essential that Olmert not be elected is to be reminded that Shimon Peres, who is despised by the people, is number 2 in Kadima. The same Shimon Peres who brought upon us the Oslo disaster, who brought the arch-murderer Yasser Arafat and his murderous gang here, who gave them weapons, ammunition and cities of refuge, and who is responsible for the thousands of victims of Oslo, is Olmert's right hand. Conspiracy theories are already current among the public that if, Heaven forbid, Olmert will be elected, the left will arrange to have Olmert removed from power somehow, either by putting him on trial for corruption or by any other way that the left knows. Shimon Peres, who is ready to make even more concessions to the Arabs than Olmert, has a distinct possibility to become prime minister.

If such nightmare scenarios are on the horizon, how can we stay home and not vote? At the very least, we should try and ensure that the Olmert-Peres party won't take power.

In the words of Pirkei Avot, the Ethics of the Fathers, "It is not incumbent upon you to complete the work; yet, you are not free to desist from it." May it be His will that, like on Purim, "the opposite happen" and the Jews will finally defeat those who hate them.