Essential "right-wing" Strategy

Ben Packer,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Ben Packer
Originally from Petersburg, Virginia, Ben Packer moved to Israel in 1999, where he served in the IDF's Givati Brigade in the Gaza Strip. Ben served as a Rabbi on campus at Univ. of North Carolina and at Duke Univ. Ben now serves as Director of the Jerusalem Heritage House (www.heritagehouse.org.il) and Co-Director of Young Jewish Conservatives (www.youngjewishconservatives.org). He lives in the Old City of Jerusalem with his wife and 6 children....

Obviously with elections now scheduled for a few months away, all the talk is political. Now is a time when new political partnerships form and old ones bitterly evaporate. There is alot of talk on the "right-wing" side of the political spectrum about that ever-elusive idea of unity. Of course everyone ideally wants unity in some way, its a matter of how and at what political cost. This is especially relevant because of what happened in the last elections. In the last elections, the "right-wing" should have garnered more seats, but did not for 2 main reasons (in my personal opinion):

1) Otzma L'Yisrael not passing the threshold

2) The lack of a viable "right-wing" alternative for Haredi-raised voters 

Many Haredi-raised potential "right-wing" voters didn't vote (and often don't). They didn't see Otzma L'Yisrael as speaking to them (no haredi candidate/representative, bad slogan). For many in this group, someone like Naftali Bennett was not an option and won't be this time around either. 

Additionally, from the perspective of Bayit Yehudi, why is it advantageous in any way to be the most "right-wing" party in the Knesset? How much better would it be for them to be able to claim a certain level of centrality on the spectrum (which they nonetheless clearly displayed in the previous government by not building much of anything significant. Does anyone really believe that 100 homes will begin being built in Hevron any time soon? /News/News.aspx/173162#.VIZDFTHF-So).

As much as unity might sound nice, it appears that a party that encompasses both Naftali Bennett and Baruch Marzel is not forthcoming. If that is indeed the case, then the "right" cannot afford to allow a situation where thousands of voters' and potential voters' ballots will be wasted or not even happen. This is a serious and growing ideological sector that deserves representation and a strong voice in the political system. It behooves those on the "right" to welcome them and facilitate their inclusion. A strong, "right-wing" government may depend on it! 

Ben Packer

Old City, Jerusalem