Return of the National Union?
Return of the National Union?

A group of activists and politicians has suggested bringing back the National Union (NU) as an independent political party if nationalists who oppose territorial compromise do not get top seats in the Jewish Home party. The Jewish Home was created by a merger of the National Religious Party (NRP) and the NU, which itself was a merger of the smaller parties Moledet, Tekuma and Achi.

If representatives from Moledet, Tekuma and Achi are not given three seats in the second through fifth slots on the Jewish Home party list, the NU should reconsider its merger with the NRP, the activists say.

The group sent a letter to members of “The Faithful to the Complete Land of Israel” on Thursday night suggesting the NU be reestablished. The suggestion will be discussed at a group conference on Saturday night.

Among those who signed the letter are Jerusalem activist Aryeh King, a senior member of Tekuma, officials from the towns of Migron and Amona, and National Union youth organizers Yinon Kadari and Mati Goldstein.

The letter writers emphasized that the letter was “just a suggestion... that will be brought before conference participants. This will be the basis of change, subject to approval from conference participants and of course advice from participating rabbis.”

As background to their proposal, the writers explained:

Members of Knesset representing the religious-Zionist community made the independent decision to unite in a new party, called “The Jewish Home.” The unification of NRP-Tekuma-Moledet was carried out without input from voters, but rather independently by a handful of MKs who were fed mistaken public relations material and advised by advisors and PR men to make a disastrous decision... There is a not-insignificant group of council members who support giving territory to our enemies, and a not-insignificant group who were appointed only due to their connections to MKs and not due to national-religious ideology.

...As the head of the party, they selected an impressive man who has accomplished much as an academic and has great personal potential, but who has never been a part of the Land of Israel Faithful movement, and from his first media interviews it is clear that this is not the party leader the Land of Israel Faithful waited for...

Members of the religious-Zionist public who oppose conceding territory now face a difficult choice, the writers said. “On one hand, to vote for a list that is not faithful to the basic principle of guarding every part of the land of Israel, and on the other, not to participate in the upcoming elections, which will influence the future of the land of Israel and the people of Israel.” The solution is to create a nationalist party to rival the Jewish Home if the Jewish Home does not appoint potential MKs who oppose territorial compromise, the group said.

Activists expressed concern that the Jewish Home leadership could attempt to torpedo their initiative by delaying the appointment of party candidates until it is too late for those who oppose the party list to form their own party. In order to avoid such a move, they suggested issuing an ultimatum to the Jewish Home demanding that it publish its party list by next Wednesday night and include candidates who oppose conceding territory in slots 2-5.

The Land of Israel Faithful movement should immediately create its own party list, made up of representatives from Tekuma, Achi, Moledet, the Jewish National Front and the Land of Israel Faithful, activists said. The alternative list would be presented to the public next Tuesday, and if the Jewish Home did not appoint Tekuma, Moledet and Achi candidates to top slots the next day, the alternative list would become an independent party.

The letter writers said their initiative was supported by senior religious-Zionist rabbis, educators and public activists as well as members of the Jewish Home council. All of the supporters will be present at the Saturday night conference, they said.