At the Women in Green Conference
At the Women in Green ConferenceYoni Kempinski

It appears that the trend in the present election campaign is the obfuscation of ideological positions, descent to the lowest common denominator, to fundamental life and existence, and to transform it into the only banner with which they are going to the polls.

A cursory glance at Gideon Sa'ar’s campaign platform reveals fundamental principles which virtually any party or any citizen can identify with. Ron Ḥuldai’s speech, too, reflects a similar element. For all intents and purposes, both are adopting the principle that Naftali Bennett has been advocating for a significant period: “Not Corona, not interesting,” a principle whose basis is shelving values and philosophies in the name of some artificial unity.

It is feasible that this constitutes an additional proof of the shallowness of Israeli politics. Conceivably, this is the nature of the process of gathering votes, and perhaps, it is testimony to the longing of the people for something different and inexplicable. In any case, the unity about which the politicians are speaking today, for which they sacrifice and slaughter ideologies and values, is far from bona-fide unity. In fact, it also leaves us with virtually no reason to leave the house and go to the polls.

True unity does not involve obfuscation of positions, it is not erasure of one’s philosophical identity, and it Is it that we are a people like all other peoples; that our connection with the Land of Israel is not alive and kicking, but rather one that must be concealed?
is not abnegation of one party before the other. Unity is not consolidation of a minimalist ideology whose entire essence is: “Let us suffice with continuing to live.” Unity is the ability to present clear, resolute, and decisive positions, while at the same time, respecting and appreciating the clear, resolute, and decisive positions of the other side; knowing how to live together despite the gaps and differences. The people of Israel are capable of doing so.

When leaders put aside their positions and present a uniform front, there is no real reason to go out to the streets on their behalf and on behalf of their parties. There is virtually no reason to go to the polls.

If we conceal and hide the Land of Israel in the political attic, the implication is that together with it, the entire objective of Zionism is also concealed; our life’s objective here in this land. If we conceal the values of Jewish tradition in fear that perhaps we will be forced to argue and hone positions, it is, in fact, our Jewish identity that we are concealing. In a reality like this, with no land and no Jewish identity, what is the statement of those statesmen and politicians?

Is it that we are a people like all other peoples; that our connection with the Land of Israel is not alive and kicking, but rather one that must be concealed?

True, the value of life is lofty and exalted, and in a period of pandemic, we must marshal a supreme effort on its behalf. True, livelihood and economy are especially important and for them one must display the values of solidarity and caring that are deeply rooted within us. However, is that all? What is the purpose of life in this land if not as a continuation of the long journey that our parents and grandparents began for the realization of the Zionist vision and its continuation, and transforming it into an exemplary society and a light unto the nations?

Our call to the leaders of the national camp is: Carry proudly, faithfully, and confidently, the banners of the camp, the banners of Zionism, settlement, sovereignty, aliya, Jewish identity, and security. The values of the struggle for life and the economy should be added alongside them, not in their place.

Do not suppress the vision. Thanks to that vision and on its behalf, we have walked with you and behind you over the course of many years. In the wake of that vision, the camp has grown and become powerful and its values have been passed to ever broadening circles in Israeli society. Thanks to that vision, they have also achieved glorious political victories.

Give us a reason to go to the polls. Do not erase the vision!


Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar are the co-chairs of the Sovereignty Movement