A common sign around the world
A common sign around the worldIsrael News Photo: (file)

While the official Chabad-Lubavitch movement is staying out of politics, several leading Chabad rabbis have issued a proclamation with instructions to vote for the Ichud Leumi (National Union) party.

Campaigning for the Ichud Leumi (National Union) party in Crown Heights  (Photo: Chabad.info)

The proclamation was issued last week, including a specific imperative “upon every one of our brethren in Israel to vote for the National Union.” It is signed by Rabbi Gedaliah Axelrod, former Rabbinical Court President and the rabbi of the Chabad community in Haifa; Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpe, author and head of the Task Force for the Land and Nation; and Rabbi Yigal Pizem, founder of yeshivot and Chabad institutions in northern Israel.

The letter states:

“As is well-known, the fact is that there is no party today waving the banner of the Entirety of the Land of Israel except for the Ichud HaLeumi (National Union). Leading the list is Yaakov HaCohen Katz (Ketzaleh), who has proven in deeds his total dedication and loyalty to the Land of Israel for decades.  The next two candidates, Mr. Uri Ariel and Prof. Aryeh Eldad, have over the course of many years proven their absolute loyalty to the Entire Land of Israel.

“Fourth on the list is Dr. Michael Ben-Ari, the representative of the Our Land of Israel movement on the National Union list. Dr. Ben-Ari, who was chosen for this task by Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpe and Rabbi Baruch Marzel, will express in the Knesset the firm position of the Lubavitcher Rebbe regarding the Greater Land of Israel and the integrity of the Nation and the Torah. After he appeared before us and we talked for a long while, we determined that he is worthy of publicizing the holy opinion of the Rebbe in all matters on the public agenda, and he will in fact follow the rabbis’ decisions in all matters.

“It is therefore our opinion that every man and woman of our brethren in Israel must vote for the Ichud Leumi (National Union) party, whose symbol is the letter tet, and influence all those who will listen to them to do the same. Heaven forbid that they should vote for any other of the parties, all of which have proven in the past that they were partners to giving away land, releasing terrorists, and making concessions that have placed the lives of millions of Jews in the Holy Land in danger.

“And everyone can be sure that with this vote they are publicly sanctifying G-d’s Name, by showing that there is a large sector for whom the Land of Israel is precious…”

The Chabad movement was last active in an election campaign in Israel in 1996, when it publicized the famous "Bibi [Netanyahu] is good for the Jews" slogan in an election for prime minister.  Since then, however, it has largely shied away from public endorsements of parties, though individual Chabad members have made their opinions known.