by David Shalom
(IsraelNN.com) On February 10 Israel heads to the polls, and the good news for the Zionist public is that this time there is real hope. Indeed, this article is dedicated to those readers who despair of the enemy within. It is a guide for those who wish to stop the continued policy of retreat and surrender, and prevent the progress of the Islamic enemy at our gates. It is for those who shared my thoughts on Winograd, and the disasters that preceded Israel's defeat in Lebanon and continued with its recent failure to destroy Hamas.
Yes, dear reader, there is a party that will stand up for you this time. For those who seek a Zionist path to secure Israel's future, there can be no hesitation to give your vote to the National Union (Ichud Leumi) party.
As we enter election season, we are constantly bombarded with a plethora of platforms and promises from parties who purport to represent the values of the nationalist camp, but it is only the National Union that opposes all territorial surrender to Arab usurpers. It is only the National Union that opposes the continuation of the Oslo process. It is only the National Union that combines the ideology of Eretz Yisrael and Zionism with the personalities capable of translating those policies into real action. A vote for the National Union is the pragmatic way of translating the power of the nationalist camp into an effective political force in government.
The National Union is made up of four true right-wing nationalist parties - Moledet, Hatikva, Tekuma and Eretz Yisrael Shelanu - and is led by Yaakov Katz (the founder of Arutz Sheva and builder of Judea and Samaria) joined by MKs Uri Ariel and Professor Aryeh Eldad. The list follows with yet more men of letters and of action. Personalities like Dr. Michael Ben Ari, a scholar of Judaism and pupil of the late Rabbi Binyamin Kahane (H.y.d., z.ts.l.), as well as Uri Bank, leading Anglo activist from Moledet, television personality Avi Rat and Dr Ron Breiman, former head of Professors for a Strong Israel and long-time leading light amongst the secular nationalist public. Indeed, there are other equally worthy people on the list who hopefully will make it into the Knesset too. Thus, the party gives representation to secular and religious, Sepharadim and Ashkenazim, veteran Israelis and immigrants, to civilian and military backgrounds, to scientists and artists alike - all united in the belief in the unity of the Land of Israel for the People of Israel according to the eternal Torah of Israel.
The party platform states:
"The National Union (Ichud Leumi) is a party that strives for the full implementation of the rights of the Jewish people over its entire homeland that will provide for a public Jewish character to the State of Israel, that will realize the eternal values of the nation in the public life of the state and will work for the widespread immigration (Aliyah) of the Jewish people in exile to Israel."
There are those who would say: Should we not vote for a larger right-wing party, specifically the Likud, lest we waste our vote and thus indirectly help the Left? But this is not the case. All the polls show that the Right will be in a majority (approximately 66 mandates for the Right, compared to the 44 of the Left and 10 of the Arabs) after the elections. It is a near certainty, as much as anything in politics can be, that the Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu will form the next government. The real uncertainty lies in what coalition he will be able to form on February 11.
The National Union will support Netanyahu in his bid for the premiership, but will make the party's entry into any coalition dependent upon the end of all territorial surrender. The National Union will be faithful to core values that include the restoration of Jewish Zionist values and education, low taxation and free market economics, combined with a social conscience. A strong National Union representation will prevent any coalition with Kadima and other leftist parties. A strong National Union will serve to balance out voices of the Left within the coalition. It will send a message to the Likud that the public doesn't want Kadima or Labour in the government. It will guarantee the end of the same old failed territory-for-terror policies.
There are those who worry that a vote for the National Union may be lost if the party does not meet the high electoral threshold for entering the Knesset. But this worry is unjustified; the National Union currently has two sitting MKs and the support of a third retiring MK (Rabbi Benny Elon), and has constantly polled significantly above the threshold by up to two seats in all surveys taken. In fact, there is no reason for this trend to stop now. Indeed, with the electoral collapse of the Bayit HaYehudi-National Religious Party, the National Union could even win an extra two or three seats. The National Union appeals to religious Zionists from Tekuma and Moledet. It also appeals to the wider secular public through its Hatikva constituent led by Professor Eldad, and it appeals to the Hareidi sector through Rabbi Dov Wolpe and Baruch Marzel's Eretz Yisrael Shelanu party, which is likely to be endorsed by Chabad.
There are then those who believe that Avigdor Lieberman will represent them better. While it is true that Mr. Lieberman is indeed a Zionist, he has not committed to vote against any and all withdrawals, and his party platform even suggests that he supports some sort of Palestinian Arab state in Western Eretz Yisrael.
The Yisrael Beiteinu party platform specifically states: "The responsibility for primarily Arab areas such as Umm Al-Fahm and the 'triangle' will be transferred to the Palestinian Authority."
In contrast, the National Union makes it clear that it believes that the entire Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people and it will not surrender one inch of it. The National Union will actively seek to dismantle the Palestinian Authority, rather than give it more of the Land of Israel. The National Union is the only party that believes in the justice of the cause of the Jewish people in their homeland without apology. It is the only party that remains true to the ideals of Zeev Jabotinsky and Betar.
By ensuring a strong National Union presence in the Knesset, we will strengthen the hand of the next government in the face of internal and external pressures to surrender the homeland. On February 10, the Zionist reader should put the symbol tet - ט - in his envelope at the polling station.