Monday, March 06, 2006

A No-Show on March 28th Is A Vote for the Left

This past issue of the Nekuda magazine (only in Hebrew and unfortunately, not on-line) has an interesting article by Orly Goldkling on a hot topic in the right wing, Dati-Leumi (national religious) community right now - whether or not to vote on March 28th.

She interviews three people on the issue, who debate the various pros and cons. Yuval Unterman, one of those expelled from Gush Katif, and Oranit Etzer, a resident of Ofra who used to live in Amona, are both vociferously against participating in the upcoming elections. Tzur Erlich, a resident of Maale Michmas, and a writer and editor for Makor Rishon, argues in favor of voting.

Unterman and Etzer's arguments revolve around their belief that it is a lost cause, and that the next government will force Jews out of their homes in Judea and Samaria no matter what. Etzer believes that most of the politicians (if not all) are corrupt, and that most Israelis are no longer interested in truth or justice - they just want to be left alone. Unterman believes that the religious Zionists can do more outside of the government than in it, and that the religious politicians not only do not change the system for the better, but are themselves badly influenced by the system itself.

Erlich understands the bitterness and frustration expressed by both Unterman and Etzer, but counters their arguments.

According to Erlich, thinking that the cause is lost already is a grave mistake, and he points out that in other countries where Jews are a tiny minority, they use their right to vote as a way of influencing the government. Boycotting the entire process here in Israel will only add votes to the left. Like it or not, the more votes the left receives, the more justification they will have to carry out more withdrawals.

Erlich adds another point, that the Knesset is the only institution we have in Israel that is directly affected by the voters. (The courts and the media are self-regulated at this stage, and they ignore the viewpoints of those who they deem as "politically incorrect") It would be a shame to give up on the one place where we do have some influence.

I agree with Erlich's position, and I think that every vote for a party to the right of Kadima will help. Even if Kadima does very well in the elections, it still has to form a coalition with other parties. Every seat counts.

In addition, I believe that we must use every tool that G-d gives us to work with - including the right to vote.

For those of you who agree, and would like to take part in campaigning, Suzie Dym has a list of local coordinators who can give you specific tasks. Write to her at sddym@beziqint.net.

8 Comments:

Blogger Batya said...

Yes, we must vote, even if our choice is decided by the process of elimination. None of the parties are fantastic, but not voting is worse.

9:04 AM, March 07, 2006  
Blogger westbankmama said...

batya - you're right.

8:59 AM, March 08, 2006  
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