NRP: Time to Close Up Shop

Spouting the same tired old slogans.

Batya Medad,

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Arutz 7

There was a very large choice of parties to choose from in this year's Israeli elections, but not all got in.
The reconstituted National Union suits my ideology.

There's lots of talk that the "far-right" - Ichud Le'umi (National Union) and Jewish Home (National Religious Party) - would have done better if they had stayed united in one party. That talk is from the media and from those not involved. I think there would have been a lower right-wing turnout and fewer seats. Most of us who voted for the united party in the last elections were disgusted, frustrated and wondering what to do with our precious vote.

Before the previous elections, I tried volunteering for the united list. A few dozen of us English-speaking writers and activists showed up at the NRP building on King George St. in Jerusalem. We were armed with enthusiasm for a united political party of Moledet, NRP, etc. We found the NRP spouting tired old slogans and knew that we were in the wrong place.

That's why Arieh Eldad's supporters established the Hatikvah party, but the brilliant professors backing him haven't a clue how to succeed in politics. So again I felt shut out. The reconstituted National Union suits my ideology. It was just very last minute and therefore didn't reach its potential. Yes, it has potential. The NRP-Jewish Home doesn't. The vast majority of its voters are old. For many, it is the party of B'nei Akiva and high school memories. I come from a different world and don't have those shared memories.

Today's Israeli youth remember how disappointed they were with the NRP during the Disengagement and the Amona evictions. Even their school system is in crisis. Many parents are looking for alternatives to the state-run public-religious school system and B'nei Akiva high schools.

NRP-Jewish Home should really close its doors. Their name change was just a PR act. The best of today's Israeli youth reminds me of the idealism of my own in the 1960s. We rejected the platitudes of our parents and looked for genuine meaning. The "sixties" wasn't just "drugging out." For those who went in that direction, it was a rejection of the post-World War II staid materialism. For many of us, our reaction was activism and idealism. That's what brought me to Torah Judaism and Zionism.

Today's national-religious zionist youth (lower case letters) sees through the superficial images. That's why they
The NRP is lucky to have made the cut this year.
live on Biblical hilltops or in non-religious cities, in order to make a difference. The ones who have dropped out, or "took off their kippot," are obviously another story. But they're not NRP-voting potential either.

Don't forget that Binyamin Netanyahu did not win big, because he ignored his potential voters in his words and actions. And the NRP is lucky to have made the cut this year. Its ideology is no longer relevant or attractive. Avigdor Lieberman's Israel is Our Home (Yisrael Beiteinu) party and Ketzaleh-Eldad's National Union party spoke clearly and got votes.

Now, we're waiting for the official final distribution of Knesset seats and the coalition bribery / negotiations.

HaShem ya'azor - "Heaven help us".