Why Vote Likud?

The political significance of a new consciousness.

Moshe Feiglin

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Arutz 7

It is entirely possible that the two national-religious parties - the rejuvenated National Religious Party and the rejuvenated National Union - will not garner enough votes to get into the next Knesset. That eventuality will be the best thing that has happened to religious Zionism in the past several years.

Allow me to explain. When I found out that I had been elected to the 20th place on the Likud list, I was a bit
No Likud MK would even dream of betraying the values of the nationalist camp.
disappointed. All the polls and the positive feedback pointed to a much higher placement. But it turned out that the technical obstacles intentionally wrought upon the voting stations in which I had strong backing, together with the healthily funded campaign claiming that "Feiglin will cost the Likud six mandates", took their toll. The very fact that we overcame all the attempts to block me and that I nevertheless was elected to a realistic place on the Likud list created a genuine revolution of consciousness in the faith-based public. When I heard "hilltop youth" who would never have considered voting in the elections saying that they would "of course vote Likud," I understood the depth of our achievement.

"On that night, I felt that this country also belongs to me," a resident of Kedumim told me. The self-imposed wall that had separated the public that is first to fight for this country from the political and sociological tools with which it could direct it had been broken on the night of the primaries. The result: the faith-based public streamed to the Likud. Instead of losing six mandates, as the campaign against me had threatened, the Likud steadily climbed in the polls, reaching 40 mandates.

The political significance of the new consciousness was tremendous. At that point, when the faith-based public felt that the Likud was its ideological home, it was clear that it would register for the Likud and vote Likud, and that no Likud MK would even dream of betraying the values of the nationalist camp. We can even say that on the night of the primaries, the Oslo concept was buried and Israel started out on the long road to national recovery. And it was all because a substantial part of the national camp had dared to abandon its sector-consciousness and join up with the rest of the nation in the Likud.

Afterwards, Binyamin Netanyahu managed to bump me down to 36th place and, in doing so, re-erected the consciousness wall. "Don't let Netanyahu force you back into the sector," I begged the newly liberated faith-based voters. "Stay in the Likud."

But it didn't help. The new consciousness of belonging created on the night of the primaries evaporated into nothingness. The Likud took a plunge in the polls and the public that is the only hope for the State of Israel once again returned to its sector-shtetl.

"How do you expect me to vote for Bibi?" the faith-based people ask me. They don't understand that a vote for the Likud is not a vote for Bibi. A vote for the Likud means that the voter has joined the earthly arena in which the fate of the State of Israel is determined. If you register and vote for the Likud, then you have bought a ticket to participate in the game and not just to watch it.

"It's your fault," I always tell the people who ask how they can vote for Bibi. "You are not even in the party. So what do you want from Bibi?"

After I was bumped down to thirty-sixth place on the Likud list, Professor Aryeh Eldad took advantage of a media interview to offer me the top position in his party. It was a most generous political proposal. The National Union party under the leadership of Ketzaleh had not yet re-formed, the Jewish Home party had crumbled and the
If I would have accepted Eldad's generous offer, I would have effectively betrayed all the people to whom I have turned for support.
chance to gather the majority of nationalist voters, plus Russian speakers, plus the general hard-core Right into a new "Faith Revival Party" looked good. In my estimation, it could have won eight Knesset mandates.

But if I would have accepted Eldad's generous offer, I would have effectively betrayed all the people to whom I have turned for support since I established Zo Artzeinu. Because accepting this proposal would mean extracting every last drop of potential out of our sector - and closing the door on the rest of Israel's voters. Avigdor Lieberman, the head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party will likely never be prime minister because that is precisely what he does. He capitalizes on the sector-based power of the Russian voters plus a bit more. Effie Eitam attempted to do the same thing and we see where he is today. So I declined Eldad's offer. It may mean that I will remain outside the Knesset in this round. But the track steering the faith-based public to leadership of this country will remain wide open.

It will be best for the faith-based public if the two national religious parties do not get into the Knesset. In that case, the public that is on the front lines in battle will have no political choice. It will simply have to join the Likud and save Israel.