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February 25, 2015 12:42 am

Why I’m Voting Likud

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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Israel's Knesset elections will be held in three weeks, on March 17. Photo: Gili Yaari/Flash90.

In three weeks, on March 17, Israelis will go to the polls to elect the next Knesset. As has been the case since the 1980s, large numbers of people at this stage of the process consider themselves or claim to be “undecided” about which slip of paper they will actually place in the envelope in the voting booth.

If one were to base his assessment of the results of the current campaign on man-in-the-street interviews, water-cooler conversations and cafe banter, he would reach one of two conclusions: either that the Green Leaf party (whose platform is the legalization of marijuana) is on the verge of forming the next government, or that blank ballots will be submitted en masse.

Though it is true that a protest vote among predominantly young, secular residents of Tel Aviv in 2006 led to an astonishing victory for the Pensioners’ Party (it garnered a whopping seven seats, when it initially had no chance of passing the electoral threshold), it is generally understood that such gestures never even help further the narrow interests of the group ostensibly targeted, let alone those of anyone else.

Indeed, one thing that Israelis have learned is that no matter what platform a party puts forth, it ends up coming down on one side or the other of the defense divide (i.e., the “Palestinian” question), in spite of everyone’s assertion that elections are about the economy. The public certainly cares about its ability to make a living, and politicians always vie for votes on that score by promising to allocate greater portions of the budget to education, health and welfare. But because handouts only hinder growth, the plight of the middle and lower classes does not improve.

Ironically, even under the stewardship of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose knowledge of the workings and benefits of the free market is unparalleled, this situation has not changed, other than in minute ways. Indeed, while competition among companies for consumer business is no longer viewed by the public as a dirty concept, salaries are still pitifully low, taxes are exorbitant and the cost of living keeps increasing. It is inexcusable for the “startup nation” to be in such a sorry state. And Netanyahu deserves to be held accountable. But not for the reasons his detractors have been touting.

No, they blame him spending too much money on “settlement” construction and protection. They argue that a withdrawal from Judea and Samaria, and the establishment of a Palestinian state free of Jews, would solve the problem.

This is delusional, of course. First of all, the Palestinian unity government in Ramallah and Gaza has made it clear that it has no interest in statehood alongside Israel. Secondly, the last item on its agenda is creating a flourishing society for its people.

Even Zionist Union party leaders Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni are aware of this fact. This is why they are purposely refraining from presenting an alternative to Netanyahu’s policy of biding time. As head of negotiations with the PA — a job given to her by Netanyahu — Livni knows she had better keep her mouth shut about any cheery options on the proverbial table; you know, the one at which PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his henchmen refused to take a seat. But then, they were busy carrying out terrorist attacks against innocent Israelis, while attending U.N. sessions devoted to providing them with a de facto state, no peace necessary.

This brings us to a key culprit in the inability of the Israeli government to forge clear policies, and in the electorate’s sense that if we all just go and smoke a joint, we won’t care whether or not we have a party to support: the electoral system as a whole.

Let us remember that it is because of this particular parliamentary system that we are headed for elections right now, two years before scheduled. It is precisely due to the plethora of parties and coalition politics that the current Netanyahu government, comprised of ministers with opposing views on almost every issue, fell apart.

For the last few decades, there have been more than two main parties with a significant number of seats. This has caused the marriage of many strange bedfellows and inevitable premature breakups.

The most immediate solution is for us to stop opting for ideologically pure parties and go for either of the two major ones. Otherwise, we will find ourselves in exactly the same predicament as we were a few months ago.

It is actually not difficult to know with which bloc one is affiliated. There is a right wing and a left wing, albeit both of which are disappointing to supporters. The “center” is an illusion, geared toward getting votes for the purpose of courtship by coalition-builders.

It may be admirable to vote for a candidate who comes closest to one’s convictions. But doing so often has the effect of ushering into power those whose positions are abhorrent.

It is thus that I am voting Likud this time, without hesitation.

Ruthie Blum is the editor of Voice of Israel talk radio. This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.

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  • Israel must be steadfast in protecting its rights and its people
    Many nations and people are questioning Israel’s control of its liberated territory.
    No one is mentioning that the Arab countries had ejected about a million Jewish people and their children from their countries, confiscated their assets, businesses, homes and Real estate. Many of the Jews ejected from Arab countries died while their forced departure from Arab countries, due to hardship, famine and starvation. 650,00 Jewish people and their children of these expelled Jewish people and their children were resettled in Greater Israel. The Land the Arab countries confiscated from the Jewish people 120,440 sq. km. or 75,000 sq. miles, which is over 5-6 times the size of Israel, and its value today is the trillions of dollars.
    The Jewish people and their children during the over 2,000 years living in Arab countries have suffered Pogroms, Libel claims, beheadings, beatings, false imprisonment and extreme hardship as a second class citizens. They had their businesses and homes pillaged, their wives and daughters raped, sold them as slaves, their houses of worship pillaged and burned, forced conversion to Islam.

    Today over half of Israel’s population are Jews expelled from Arab countries and their children and grandchildren.

    The Audacity of the Arab countries in demanding territory from the Jewish people in Palestine after they ejected over a million Jewish people and their children who have lived in Arab land for over 2,000 years and after they confiscated all their assets and Real estate 5-6 times the size of Israel (120,440 sq. km. – 75,000 sq. mi.), valued in the trillions of dollars.
    Now the Arab nations are demanding more land and more compensation.
    The Arab countries have chased the million Jews and their children and now the want to chase them away again, from their own historical land.

    Israel must respond with extreme force to any violent demonstration and terror. Israel’s population must have peace and tranquility without intimidation by anyone.
    The Jewish people have suffered enough in the Diaspora for the past 2,500 years. It is time for the Jewish people to live as free people in their own land without violence and terror.
    It is time to consider that the only alternative is a population transfer of the Arab-Palestinians to the territories the Arab countries confiscated from the Jewish people and settle this dispute once and for all. Many Arab leaders had suggested these solutions over the years.
    YJ Draiman

  • “Israel’s Disproportionate Restraint is Detrimental to its security.” r3

    Israel is guilty of anything it’s of disproportionate restraint.

    Appeasement and concessions have brought about more terror and violence.

    Israel has the right and obligation to defend its citizens – Protect its borders.

    The brutal slaughter of a family of 5 including a baby in Itamar.

    The slaughter of 5 Rabbis and beheading in a synagogue in Jerusalem.

    This just shows that we are dealing with a barbaric mentality.

    Add to it the bomb at a bus stop in Jerusalem.

    A rocket at a school bus.

    The daily launching of rockets from Gaza against civilian population and schools.

    And many more acts of terror and violence.

    No country and a responsible government that cares about its citizens would
    tolerate such atrocities.

    Terror should be handled in the following manner. When a poison
    strikes the human body, the only way to address it, is to remove it and destroy it completely.

    It is a known fact that any country if attacked, its citizens kidnapped, rocket bombardment on a daily basis.

    Has the right and obligation to defend its citizens.

    It is sad that innocent civilians are hurt, but that is the cost of war and conflict.

    The people of Israel have the right to live in safety and security, without daily provocation and violence by the Arabs.

    Any government and its citizen who do not resist terrorism and let terrorist organization entrench themselves in their country and utilize those countries as bases of armed terrorism against a neighboring country. Eventually pays the price for permitting such actions.

    If you gave the Arab population a vote in Israel and the west bank and Jerusalem the option to vote freely and without intimidation, you would find out, that they would rather be living under Israel’s government. The Arabs who live in Israel derive more stability more benefits, pensions, welfare, medical, etc.

    If the United States or any other government were to be attacked from across the border on a daily basis, have its citizens kidnapped, rockets launched at them on a daily basis, the citizens would demand that immediate military action be initiated with no holds barred, collateral damage or not.
    That is the fact of life.

    Terrorist and those who support them do not know what peace is,
    they thrive on violence. That is the only way they control the masses.

    Any negotiations or compromise only strengthen those terrorist organizations.

    When a poison strikes the human body, the only way to address it, is to remove it and destroy it completely.

    There is no such thing as a “Disproportionate response to terror.”

    Our problem today is “Israel’s Disproportionate Restraint.”

    This puts Israel and its citizens in grave danger.

    When a poison strikes the human body, the only way to address it, is to remove it and destroy it completely.

    That is the way the terrorist organizations should be treated.

    “Like all sovereign nations, Israel has not only a right, but moreover, a duty and an obligation, to ensure the safety and security of her citizens”.

    As quoted in a statement “the only time of a chance for peace is, when the Arab mother would love her children more than she hates the Israelis.

    The big mistake is that people are missing the economic benefits that a true peace would bring for Israel and its neighbors. That is, if there was a true and lasting peace, you take the Israeli Technology and know how, add to it the Arab labor and natural resources – and you have an economic prosperity beyond your wildest dreams.

    Nothing will change, nothing can change until the Arab Palestinian
    people recognize this reality; their greatest enemy is not Israel. The greatest threat to the Palestinian people is, and always has been, their own leaders.

    And Israel cannot negotiate with Hamas, anymore than Chamberlain could negotiate with Herr Hitler.

    The Qur’an 17:104 – states the land belongs to the Jewish people.

    Every time there is a terrorist act, Israel should vacate an Arab village and raze it.

    Any Arab rioting and or throwing stones at Israelis and violating
    Israeli laws – should be deported and his home destroyed.

    There never was a Palestinian Arab State and there will never be an Arab Palestinian State on Jewish land in Greater Israel – Anyone who thinks that there is going to be one is delusional.

    Jordan is in reality the Arab Palestinian State, 75% of its citizens are Arab-Palestinians. Jordan’s land was originally allocated for the Jewish state. The British in violation of agreements gave it to the Arabs.

    It is also important to state, that the Arab countries have expelled over a million Jews from their countries, Jews who have lived there for over 1800 years, the Arabs confiscated their assets, businesses, homes and Real Estate 5-6 times the size of Israel – 46,000 sq. miles – 120,000 sq. km. Many of the expelled Jews died due to hardship and starvation and about three quarters of the were re-settled in Greater Israel. Talking about travesty, this is the ultimate travesty; you kick the Jewish people out of their homes for 1800 years, the resettle in Israel and now you want to kick them out again in their own ancestral land.

    You have murdered and your have inherited – this is the ultimate in injustice.

    You do not reward terrorists – that is exactly what the Arabs are doing, they glorify terror and violence, not only in Israel but, throughout the world.

    YJ Draiman


  • Mike Druttman


    We are not a dictatorship. There isn’t just one person who knows all the answers. Certainly not one person like Benjamin (I was born with a golden spoon in my mouth) Netanyahu. What does he know of the common man? He lives the life of Nero with his Marie Antoinette wife! Israelis deserve a fresh chance at success and a fair life with a party other than Likud. One should not go through life completely blind and indifferent to the hard facts on the ground.