Eretz Yisrael Time

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Monday, March 20, 2006
If you had asked me last year which party I would endorse for the next elections, by default I would have said the National Union.

I respect Benny Elon and Aryeh Eldad both as individuals and as upright, unwavering legislatures. Once Efi Eitam joined their party I felt they presented an appealing team that well represented many of the national and partisan issues important to me.

I admit, I don’t see any of them as national leaders as much as I see them as partisan leaders (even though their platform covers a wide range of issues), but that is fine as none of them were/are in any position to take their place as a national leadership candidate (I think Efi Eitam made a huge mistake by not joining the Likud and Manhigut Yehudit from the start – which would have made him a candidate for Prime Minister, and to me, making that mistake means he isn’t right for the position).

Voting for a partisan party is as close as you can get to directly electing your representative in Israel (except for joining a party and voting in the primaries – which is also very important to do – even if it isn’t the party you vote for in the regular elections), so while I may not get to select the “Prime Minister” at least I get to elect the equivalent of my local representative.

But I also must admit that I was disappointed by all their roles in the disengagement. They participated and stood side-by-side in the field quite properly, but I didn’t see any of them coming out and acting like the strategist and leader that we needed. I saw none of them properly positioning the “troops” or providing the leadership and control that was needed say at Kfar Maimon, which could and should have been anything but the beginning of the end - had it been played out differently.

But as I said, by default the National Union would still have gotten my vote.

But then they joined forces with the Not Relevant Party (Mafdal). Instead of letting this useless political party die, or pull a “Meimad” and join the Likud, the NU saved it and not only threw these politicians a life preserver, but they gave them the best seats on the boat.

I have zero respect for the leaders of the Mafdal and I don’t mean just their actions leading up to the disengagement, I mean in general. I’ve discussed them elsewhere so there is no point in repeating myself here, but in short I will not give my vote to Mafdal. Period.

This certainly puts me in a dilemma. I won’t vote Likud because while I think Bibi has better potential to do it right this time, he will probably be thrown out and Sharon’s boy Silvan is going to take over. Certainly Limor Livnat doesn’t deserve my vote.

Going to the other side, in my eyes that only leaves Baruch Marzel (Hazit) and Kleiner (Herut).

I won’t vote Kleiner (Herut) because if I’m going to vote Right not only do I want a party that cares about religious issues, but I want a party whose political views stem from Judaism and where Judaism is central to their ideology, not something peripheral to it. Nor does Kleiner have any politically charismatic attraction that makes me want to vote for him.

This basically leaves me with Marzel.

And Marzel leaves me with a big problem.

But before I get to the problem, let’s discuss Marzel. He’s religious. He's ideologically unambiguous. He manages to easily get the establishment (and others) worked up like another former Knesset member we won't mention by name. And certainly if I’m voting partisan, he’s that.

As Mrs. JoeSettler mentioned in a recent TV interview, Marzel will represent and fight for Jewish interests in Israel and worldwide, regardless of what the world says or thinks. He has Jewish pride and Jewish values and that is what he will try to promote.

I would have been most happy if his party had joined the National Union.

But the problem is, as the National Union keeps trying to hammer into our heads, is that Marzel probably won’t make the minimum number of votes to get in. My vote will be thrown away.

I’ve given that a lot of thought. A vote for Marzel might be like a vote for Kadima (or just not voting).

But you know what? That’s wrong.

I need to vote for whomever I think will best represent what I want, without calculating his chances of getting in. Right now that is Marzel.

And let’s look at the reality, let’s look at the two most likely political constellations.

If Kadima forms the government (most likely situation right now) then the NU will be just some weak opposition and an extra seat or not really won’t matter. (Kadima, Shas, Aguda/Degel, Leiberman).

If the Likud and Labor join together, you can also guarantee that the NU won’t be in that group (Likud, Labor, Aguda/Degel, Shas, Leiberman).

A strong right-wing block? With who? Leiberman is effectively just as left as Kadima is, Shas and Aguda will go with the money, and we would be left with a constellation of parties that isn’t particularly Right, but is holding together to simply foil Kadima (which for Leiberman, Aguda/Degel and Shas isn’t really that important, as they would sit in a Kadima government).

I don’t see the NU being that important or key that a vote for them will change anything, prevent the next disengagement, or get this government to fight terrorism, or anything else I value.

In short a vote for NU will also be throwing my vote away (and I won't give the Mafdal a seat).

If Marzel gets in (and is allowed to stay in) then at least he can irk the establishment and do it with impunity (and immunity) as well as represent a lot of my political legislative goals.

If Marzel doesn’t get in, well the way I see it, nothing is really lost, and I voted for the person I most wanted to get in (based on existing choices).

As a last point, I’ve noticed that a lot of religious Sepharadim are planning on voting either Shas or Marzel. They feel that Marzel would best represent their religious, social, and political goals and needs. Again, their only question is whether he will get in. In my opinion Shas will have enough seats anyway and will sit in any government. Better they should vote for Marzel who will represent them more completely.

JoeSettler endorses Baruch Marzel and Hazit for Knesset 2006.


Rafi G. said...

I like your points. I would add that if everybody who says, "I would vote Marzel btu don't want to waste my vote" would actually vote Marzel, he would get in and I think would even get up to 3-4 seats.
I have heard from alot of people that they would vote Marzel if not for the fear that they are throwing away a vote. I always tell them it does not matter if he does not get in. You have to vote for who you believe will represent your ideaology and wishes. If that is Marzel, vote for him and if he does not get in at least you did the right thing.

JoeSettler said...


"Thankyou!!!!" - Why? Are you running for office?

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

JoeSettler: Interesting analysis.

Bottom line, you're voting for Marzel to "irk" the establishment?

Is that the absolute best you can hope for?

Since Marzel won't be part of any coalition, the chance of actually influencing anything that represents your own poltiical views, is zero.

In Israel's parliment, where there are no checks and balances, and being in the opposition means zero influence, is Marzel the best option?

Don't get me wrong, I haven't come out with an endorsement yet, and I'm playing devil's advocate.

The painful question is, should we try to have even marginal influence or ignore the game completely? (which means voting Marzel, or even not voting)

Ze'ev said...

I 2nd Jameel.

1st, perhaps Marzel can explain the logic behind the following:

When the threshold to enter the Knesset wss 1.5% he ran with Kleiner and missed out by 5 - 10,000 votes.

Now, that the threshold is 2% (about 70,000 votes) he decides to split off from Kleiner, and run on his own.

That's political responsibility?

What service is he doing for the right, other than further dividing it?

2nd, up until the very last moment, Baruch marzel was begging to be included in the NU-NRP - that's right, Marzel was more than willing ot sit with Zevulun Orlev!!!

That's ideology?

He wasn't included, and now he's bitter, so he blasts everyone in the NU-NRP as sell-outs - sell-outs that he himself was willing to sit with!!!

3rd, if Marzel would have been i nthe last Knesset, what if anything would have been different?

Would he have stopped the expulsion? Will he stop the next one?

He is not willing to sit with anyone, work with anyone? What laws will he pass? How will he be able to further his agenda? What comittees will he chair or portfolios will he hold where he will be able to advance his cause?

True, Orlev stayed in until almost the end, but just about everyone else left at the beginning - and a bloc of 61 is more realistic than you think, and provided am uch better hope of stopping the next geirush than Marzel's 3 seats will (if any at all).

JoeSettler said...


Let’s quickly analyze the last election. The majority clearly voted against disengagement and for the Right. In the end, we clearly got neither, because there is no respect for democracy or the voters in Israel.

As you can tell, politically I feel very marginalized as the game isn’t being played fairly nor on a level field, the rules aren’t being obeyed, and the umpires are openly rooting for one of the sides.

More so, every so-called right-wing party platform except for NU (excluding Mafdal), Marzel, and Kleiner have consoled themselves to the inevitability and perhaps even acceptability of the latest hot fad of unilateral transfer (of Jews from their land, and of more land to Arabs) and a Palestinian State.

And while everyone talks about a Right-wing block, there is little actual difference (except in percents) between what Leiberman, Likud, Labor, and Kadima would eventually try to implement. The NU would again be effectively alone and powerless.

So yes, I don’t see a right-wing block as being either realistic or effective, so I might as well vote for someone who will irk the establishment (besides that he has some good views too).

Will he be able to make a change? I doubt it, but the NU plus/minus a seat or two will continue to be just as effective (or not) either way.

Ze’ev: I’ll answer you later (in depth) when I get from my meeting.

Jerusalemcop said...

I agree with your analysis too. Unfortunately, both ze'ev and jameel make good points.

I voted my conscience last time and my vote for herut was swallowed by not making the threshold.

with the split between kleiner and marzel, I see very little chance for either passing.

I still havent decided who to vote for


Anonymous said...

Why can't there be and why isn't there one candidate to represent both the "settler's" view & the "main stream" view?.....Why hasn't someone been culled up to this point? Where is that strong leader who can represent Israel in its entirety? What will anyone truly accomplised by helping to allow Kadima to come into office? I think a little practicality has to play into this scenerio. Jewish people have survived throughout time, not by making statements but by being practical........
Bottom line, what Israel needs is a good search. committee.....

Anonymously dissatisfied...

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Anonymous: Good strong leaders aren't stupid...they stay out of Israeli politics.

Anonymous said...

So who's running the asylum while the inmates are out to play?
Remember that a vote for principle in the next election is a vote for Kadima.....And while principles are absolutely & fundamentally important, flexability plays an important role here. It's akin to a tree bending in the wind or snapping. Some very tough choices to make these days.

Anonymously dissatisfied

JoeSettler said...


You raise some interesting points that definitely require addressing. But I want to start by pointing out that Jameel wasn’t necessarily indirectly endorsing the NU with his statement. I suspect in the end he will endorse the Likud (I’m waiting to see).

You claim that Marzel is irresponsibly dividing the right-wing vote, yet a few sentences later you say that he has been begging to be part of the NU bloc.

Which one is it? It sounds to me like you just said that Marzel was trying to responsibly join the NU and the NU irresponsibly divided the camp.

Perhaps Marzel was hoping that his ideology would balance out the NRP-introduced weakness in the NU camp.

You claim that Marzel is bitter by being excluded.

Probably, but looking at it from his point of view, The NU lost a lot of votes by bringing in the NRP, which means a whole disenchanted sector (like me) is not represented. So he runs independently and easily grabs up those lost votes. Perhaps from his point of view the NU is suddenly scared by their mistake and now realizing they lost a chunk of votes, they keep chanting the aggressive mantra that “voting for Marzel is a wasted vote”. Perhaps to Marzel that mantra sounds bitter and scared?

Now if the NU really wanted to maintain unity they could have at least done a vote sharing deal with Marzel, even after excluding him.

Except they can’t because the NU would have realized that only Marzel would gain from that, as they would quickly lose a lot more vote to Marzel as voters no longer had to worry about the risk of lost votes.

So the NU doesn’t even do the minimum to avoid the loss of right-wing votes in the name of unity, and instead continues to chant “a vote for Marzel is a wasted vote,” when they had in their hands the tool to prevent that.

As to what Marzel could do in the Knesset, the basic answer is that I assume he would vote very similarly to the NU, strengthening the right-wing vote. But more than that, Marzel is much more unafraid of aggressively challenging the establishment than Efy and Benny (both of whom I highly respect) and a little more fire (pilpul in Hebrew) is really what is needed on the Right in the Knesset right now.

Another important point you need to remember is that Sharon introduced a working concept I call the “conditional coalition”, basically one issue temporary coalitions that get a particular job done, and then the party constellation changes to get the next issue done.

Shas will sit with Kadima once the next disengagement has been completed. Orlev will chomp at the bit for 2 years and the next disengagement to finish so he can go his separate way from the NU and directly into the Kadima government. Two years is a very cheap price to pay for 4 seats, when the NRP would have had zero otherwise.

(Or Olmert can start with social issues, and then do the disengagement a year later, the order doesn’t really matter).

The point is that in 2 years the NRP will leave and join with Kadima, and the NU will be cut down to half its size. So much for a strong, united right-wing block.

You should also know that the NU is not the only party that sees Marzel as a realistic threat. The Chareidi parties also realize that Marzel seriously attracts their voters and they are going against him too (which is why the counterfeit flyer went up today claiming he dropped out).

To me that means they realize that he does have a good chance of getting in.

For some reason you seem to assume that if Marzel gets in his (3?) seats he won’t work together with the NU’s 5 (and the NRP’s 4 if you can trust them).

As for his ability to reach the threshold…Marzel is making serious inroads in the Chareidi community and that is being ignored. I think he will do well. And again, I won’t give my vote to the NRP so that in 2 years they can give it away for some comfortable chairs they so like sitting in.

If it was Effy, Benny, and Aryeh, you’d have my vote in a second. If it was Effy, Benny, Aryeh, and Marzel you’d have it immediately.

But this way, Marzel holds much more appeal, and if he doesn’t get in, those are the breaks. But perhaps the NU should seriously consider vote sharing (if it’s not too late) and show they are the bigger party.

JoeSettler said...


I think the phrase is 'the inmates are running the asylum' which is quite correct in the case of the Knesset.

Flexibility is important, but this has turned into an all out war against the settlers. The left smells blood and are out to destroy us.

Even Netanyahu is betting the house by calling this vote a referendum. It's become a game of all-or-nothing.

I don't think there is room for flexibility because either we win or we lose. There's no middle ground here.

JoeSettler said...

alkmyst: It would be cynical of me to connect it to Benny Elon's visit (and commitment) to Chabad the day before.

Anonymous said...

anonymous said: "Jewish people have survived throughout time, not by making statements but by being practical..."

Tell that to Mordechai ish yemini!

I'm with Joe Settler on this.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, without "sonei betzah" there is no hope regardless of who gets how many votes. Marzel, who is clearly the candidate most representative of pure Torah-based ideology, can get 1, 3 or 5 seats and I would bet my farm that he would be marginalized, demonized, ostracized and eventually kicked-out-asized.

The machine is moving, the rhetoric and sound-bytes to the masses both in Israel and abroad consistently paint a picture of shame. Israel is occupying, wrongly, and Israel really wants terribly to let the Arabs have their state. But-for the risk of terror Israel would long ago have walked out of the lands re-taken in 1967, say the message points. Therefore, Israel must continue to send money, electricity, water, medical supplies, etc. Because Israel is in the wrong. This message is so deep in the minds and hearts of Joe-non-settler that no money or campaign in the world will reverse the course.

The only hope is the often oversimplified task of creating unity and harmony among those who claim that the Torah guides their lives and actions. How can this group expect any respect if they don't respect each other, all in the name of God. Once this group can stop pointing fingers and disliking one another, only then can they create an atmosphere where a potent power-bloc can be formed. It won't happen in the next 7 days. It won't likely happen in the next 7 years. It may happen in the face of a real churban.

For those of you who were in the NYC area during the 3 days after 9/11 you know what I am talking about. Crime was almost non-existent. People didn't push, honk or yell. Courtesy and general nicety was the order of the day. It was the closest to a post-Moshiach environment I had ever experienced. It lasted a few days, then things got back to abnormal. If it takes a conflagration so harsh that it brings the Torah community to its knees then the short-term pain should result in long-term gain.

Hope I am wrong, but betting I am right. And yes, voting for Marzel because he is the least corrupt soul in the race.

JoeSettler said...

Welcome back.
The truth is we'll never really know who blew off who and why, as it all happened behind closed doors and we only see parts of what each side wants to tell us. For a while some people were saying the exact opposite, that firmly Marzel turned down the NU's overtures.

Question: Now that the Rebbi ZT"L has spoken and said not to vote for Marzel, will the Lubabvitchers still vote for him?

Anonymous said...

elchonon said:
"Most lubavitchers will vote marzel!"

i sure hope so. i cant believe those Rabbonim sold out...

Anonymous said...

Everything has changed since Eidelberg joined Marzel. This is now WAY BEYOND 'mere' Torah-values and uncompromising stance re: Eretz Israel. It's now about REGIME CHANGE and Eidelberg's cant will reach ALL Jews, secular and religious as they become aware of the SYSTEMIC DYSFUNCTIONALITY of Israeli 'democracy'.
Remember that PE has said multiple times that they'll be using their MK status to EDUCATE in every possible forum in Israel, and little time in the Knesset except for the obvious bloc votes.
In two years we could see an informed Israeli populace, of every political stripe, clamouring for a Jewish Constitution and direct regional election of MK's and an independant Executive and an elected High Court!

Marzel's in, of course, as of this morning. 57,000. So the whole 'wasted vote' shtick is moot.
For those who are still waffling: -One of the first acts of Hazit will be to argue for a higher Threshold - 5%-7%.

JoeSettler said...


That was actually very interesting and a good answer to Ze'ev as to what Marzel plans to do differently.

What is the source of your poll figures of 57,000?

JoeSettler said...

Jameel and I did a little research and let me now correct my previous statement on Vote Sharing.

1. A party that does not have enough seats to pass the threshold can not receive seats from another party in order to pass the threshold.

2. A party that is over the threshhold can receive extra seats from a party that does not make it over the threshold.

In short NU had more to gain by doing a deal, and only took a 'risk' if Marzel was over the threshold.

But still, it is not clear to me then, as according to Ze'ev, Marzel wanted to join the NU bloc, why the NU turned him down.

Ben Bayit said...

Interesting discussion. A few points.

1) Being in the opposition does not mean no power. Opposition MK's have always successfully passed legislation in every knesset. They also sit on all the committees, including finance and judges selection

2) Not getting in is NOT a wasted vote. BY voting for a party that doesn't cross the threshold you are effectively electing the knesset as it is formulated - which is exactly what the rest of the country has done b/c there is no direct representation. As long as the place I live is considered the constitiency of XX party they "represent" me whether I vote for them or not.

3) even if the right won 90 seats, the left would still control the country and buy enough of them off to do what they want.

So go ahead and piss off the Mafdal and Benny Elon if that's what you want to do. I couldn't agree more - Hazit is the best way to do that if that is your aim in voting.

JoeSettler said...

You made some very important points, but my point is not that I want to 'piss off' Benny Elon, I happen to like the guy on a personal and professional level.

In 2 years the Mafdal will jump ship to Kadima (if they can't get out earlier), and I simply do not want them to have my vote for everything they have (not) done and will (not) do.

JoeSettler said...,7340,L-3230920,00.html

Marzel: 57,000 people committed themselves to vote for me

Chairman of the Jewish National Front Party, Baruch Marzel, claimed that around 57,000 people have signed declarations that they would vote for him in the coming elections, enabling his party to collect the necessary votes to attain a Knesset seat.

At a press conference in Jerusalem, Marzel said that "if Benjamin Netanyahu will commit himself not to give up territories, I will support him, in order to create a blockage bloc against the Left." (Efrat Weiss)

Eitan Ha'ahzari said...

I simply didn't have the time to read all the comments but I've been thinking too, as of late. I saw the painful video on this site and I've been called on to vote Hazit by several young activists. But since I will be wasting my vote I've finally chosen (again) to go with NU-NRP. BTW: why do you say the NRP is a wasted entity, Joe? I'm actually secular but I like the things the NRP stands for-religious Zionism in general for that matter.

Anonymous said...

I like Elon too, Joe...I believe his heart is very much in the 'Right' place. That said, I can see that his Elon Plan is very naive as a tactical/strategic solution. I figure if one wants to vote NU/NRP, go for it, nonetheless - they'll obviously be the biggest Right party after Likud (are they Right?).
I see the issue as fundamentally whether Israelis will be able to achieve an electoral and judicial system that can preclude the obvious reality that Ben Bayit elucidates: - even w/90 seats on the Right the entrenched LLLMedia/military-industrial/secular-socialist oligarchy will still control the country.
[I'm not belittling that this election is also about Yesh'A's fate and Israel's Identity as a Jewish State, or a state-of-its-citizens pace Beilin/Peres et al.]
Therefore, the only path forward is a heart by heart EDUCATIONAL PROCESS, wherein the average Israeli will clearly understand that Israel is NOT a "democracy" today, not by any world standard, be it 'contemporary' or 'Classical' Democracy (prefered and able to be integrated with Jewish Halacha). When MK's and power in this country are finally after 6 decades given to the electorate through direct election of regional representatives, directly accountable to their electors, Israelis will have a voice in the future of their country. It is this that the Peres cabal fears more than anything as their dictatorial and often tyrannical hold on power (through the High Court, Media, and control of some 80% of the country's public assets via the old socialist (Boshevik) institutions established with the Provisional Government way back when...) depends on being able to fully manipulate power BETWEEN ELECTIONS. That will be gone once regional direct representation is established.
IMHO, we can hope and work and argue towards, but not 'force', what the picture of the country will be when a politically educated and empowered populace choose the path forward. You can tell where I stand, but there are still many Leftists that would prefer Israel as a secular state - and their MK's voted fairly will count as much as ours. Until we have an Upper House, call it Sanhedrin, of 70 Jews (only) who alone can formulate and vote on Laws proposed by a Lower House comprising MK's from all sectors with legislative and administrative oversight who do not oppose Israel as a Jewish State (yet to be defined), there will be no safety and great vigilance will be required afterwards as well. Plus it will be a hard and long road to this FUNCTIONAL system in any case. A majority subscribing to Eidelberg's formulae for Regime Change will be required, irrespective of which party they belong.
First step remains person-to-person EDUCATION. Anyone who hasn't yet read and understood PE's Jewish Statesmanship (in Russian, Hebrew, or English) IMHO shouldn't be allowed to vote. If wishes were horses, of course.

Joe, you probably picked up the news item by now - the 57,000 figure is NOT a 'poll', but 57,000 signed committments to vote Hazit from citizens - Marzel announced it this morning in Jerusalem. So Hazit is in, the question is How Big.
Also, again, don't worry about this turning into another circus in the Knesset. PE has said multiple times that they don't intend to waste time in the Knesset arguing with fools and knaves. They are going to be out in schools, synagogues, community centers, lecture halls and I guess eventually STADIUMS, EDUCATING ISRAELIS about JEWISH CLASSICAL DEMOCRACY!! They'll of course vote uncompromising Right and further propose things like 'right to vote from abroad' (which would bring thousands of Hareidim to take citizenship but remain Chutz - Israel being pretty well the only democracy out of some 70 worldwide that disenfranchises its expatriots), an Oath of Allegiance to the Jewish State (as Kleiner wants, too - Bless him), enforcement of the Basic Law against the Israeli Arab terror supporting parties, a sane electoral threshold, etc etc. But none of these are likely to pass in the near future without unanimity on the Right. That will happen naturally as the electorate grows to demand a Jewish Constitution.

NO Shortcut, the way I see it, unfortunately (well, without a Hidden Miracle from the Hand)

addendum to regreg23: - That's the sweetest thing I've read on a comment thread since this election has started. "I'm secular but I like what the NRP stands for, religious zionism for that matter"
Got a little kink/tear in eye, reading that. YOU are the Israeli that I heartfelt believe are the SOUL of Our People, averaged, in Our Land. And also the hope for the future, for you are the Greatest Number per capita, IMHO. Thank you.
But regards a NRP vote, sure go for it, but if you can read Eidelberg's Jewish Statesmanship - Lest Israel Fall, (it'll take a Shabbat afternoon/evening - short and sweet only a couple of hundred clear pages) BEFORE you vote on Tuesday. Elon and Ettie are kewl, but our work must be TOGETHER for Regime Change, and only HAZIT has the platform today.

JoeSettler said...


I recommend you read these posts:

Voting for the NU is excellent.

But I personally can not and will not let the NRP get my vote as you can why see from the links.

JoeSettler said...

btw: I think Benny and the NU far better represent (and fulfill) what the NRP claims as their banner.

JoeSettler said...

tibron: Hazit's site seems to have lost its English. Could you check into that and have them fix it? :)

Anonymous said...

I still find the Hazit English OK at , Joe?

Everyone here's seen the Foundation site, yes?

There's a labour of love for someone. While there are a fair number of PE's articles there, done I think by Joseph O. in US, there's no regular maintenance nor open comments - plus PE's written over 1000 articles and too many learned papers to count - only a portion are archived on this site. No time, no money.

It's a decent enough introduction to his thought, though. Rene Louis Beres considers him the World's leading Constitutional Theorist. 'Terrible speaker' though, if you've heard him on A7. Worth getting beyond that, and he's much more engaging in person. Very humble and approachable teacher, does many seminars in Jerusalem.

His "Judaic Man" and "Demophrenia - Israel's Malaise of Democracy" are tour-de-force. Not read his latest, but the excerpts I've seen appear both ambitious and cutting-edge: - advances in Sciences and Humanities coming to congruence with Torah Wisdom, world-wide...

Anonymous said...

Here's a not-altogether-complimentary take of PE's on the NU/NRP conduct over the last while: -

and also: -

But this article, Secularization of the Religious Right is a must read, and shows well the elegance of his reason and spirit (I've been trying to get A7 to publish it in their 'Opinion' section): -

Anonymous said...

(this just in from PE)
Notice to all voters

Election 2003

Valid votes …………. …… 3,148,364 (69% of roughly 4,526,000 registered voters)

Qualifying threshold (1.5%)……. 47,226

1. Votes wasted on the pseudo-nationalist parties responsible for the expulsion of Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria:

a. Likud = 925,279

b. National Union = 173,973

c. National Religious Party = 132,370

2. Despite the increase in population and probable increase in the number of registered voters, such is the large number of alienated and apathetic citizens, that the voter turnout may be less than 67%. If so, and despite a higher electoral threshold, no more than 60,000 votes may be required for a party to enter the Knesset.

3. Since a large percentage of the nation’s alienated citizens are those who, in the 2003 election, voted for pseudo-nationalist parties—Likud, National Union, and the National Religious Party— many of these alienated voters will want to vote for a genuine nationalist party, of which there is only one: Baruch Marzel’s Jewish National Alliance—Hazit. (Three Hazit MKs would be worth more than busload of pseudo-nationalists.)

4. Moreover, since Hazit voters are more deeply motivated, ideologically, than the typical citizen, a larger percentage of these voters will turn out for next week’s election. Hazit may therefore be the surprise of election 2006.

You can make it a bigger surprise by voting


[ כ ]

Prof. Paul Eidelberg
Chairman, Hazit Ideological Committee

(sorry for 'nappin' bandwidth, Joe - perhaps someone want to send this around email list..DS. Kol Tov, later...)

Anonymous said...

yes, Elchonon. Well stated. And all this you've said regards Marzel's character, PLUS a comprehensive program of radical institutional reform and a Jewish Constitution through Eidelberg, Shifrin, Hannukoglo and the Yamit. Worker ownership of company shares, free market...

And just a few steps to Abrogation of Oslo; Destruction of Amalek (Hamas/PA); Annexation of Yesh'(A!); a Jewish Homestead Act in Yesha....

I feel for the first time in years a glimmer of HOPE! What a bargain is this HAZIT!

Anonymous said...

Joe: Like you, I would have been quite happy if Marzel's party had joined the NU. But what I find outrageous is the fact that he's running separately from Kleiner (Herut). I also find it perplexing that hardly anybody is talking about this.

Hazit's platform is almost *completely* identical to Herut's. This means that the only reason they're not running together has to do with petty personal issues and ego. In other words, in the end, Marzel and Kleiner are not really all that different from the rest of our small-minded, pathetic politicians.

If they were united, they'd have enough support to pass the threshold. We shouldn't be criticizing people who want to avoid wasting their votes, and therefore won't vote for Marzel or Kleiner. Instead, we should be criticizing Marzel and Kleiner themselves -- because they're the ones who lack the sense of responsibility and vision to "do the right thing".

If Marzel and Kleiner had put aside their silly squabbles and run as a single party, I'd vote for them.

But if their common political aims are not sufficient for them to overcome their irrelevant personal differences for the sake of Israel's future, then neither of them deserve my vote. Not by a long shot.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree that on this point, Lurker - I'm mystified. Indeed the platforms are similar in principal, though the Herut platform is nowhere near as far-reaching as Hazit.

Both are rock steady on Eretz, and both have meaningful programs to aid emigration of Arabs - Herut's albeit a little simplistic. Both are free-marketers and consequent in their address to terrorism/Arab lawlessness.

So the 'problem' must lie somewhere else, somewhere deeper. Eidelberg has made little comment about Herut this election, so I've gained no insight there. I could ask him on this point if enough individuals require clarification. Whether they are "personal differences" I can't speculate, but that doesn't sound like Baruch Marzel to me, anyway. Kleiner, I don't know.

But don't you sometimes feel, Lurker, that you're voting in a municipal election, rather than a National Election? The plethora of parties does NOTHING for Jewish Unity of purpose, which is why of course the Threshold MUST be changed, and quick. I believe this is on both Herut's and Hazit's agenda....(not totally positive about Herut).

In the end, Herut has little to say about electoral reform, though judicial reform is on its agenda in a general way (no specifics: - i.e. ELECTED High Court pace USA). Not addressing the electoral system, not having a Jewish Constitution as a main plank, doesn't bode well for progress, IMHO. Hazit's formulae are painfully specific to the 'facts on the ground' and achievable using the context of present Basic Laws as a launch point. Herut's will require some major shift, not likely without major education of the electorate.

Whatever. I'm merely musing here. If you wish to punish Herut and Hazit for their 'possible groundless intrangigence', go ahead. You'll obviously have to 'hold your nose' voting for any other party on the Right on the same grounds.

Vote. Vote Right. (but, please - a little faith here, yes? Vote Hazit!)

Anonymous said...

And once again, and I don't know why people keep missing this, - 'cause the news is getting old already: -
Marzel's HAZIT is ALREADY past the threshold. That's no longer an issue. 57,000 signed vote commitments! Herut, I've no idea, but don't trust the LLL polls. I'd bet they're coming in, too.

JoeSettler said...

I'm very bothered by Paul Eidelberg's obsession with Moshe Feigin. Feiglin chose a path which in the long term (IMHO) is still the correct one if you want to reach a position of national (not partisan) political leadership in this country. I've read a lot of Eidelberg's stuff, but when he switched into his anti-Feiglin mode and starting writing what he wrote, he really turned me off. I felt he was actually doing political posturing as opposed to analytical analysis.

As for Kleiner, the other day he told Marzel to quit and tell his (loyal? obedient?) followers to vote Kleiner instead. Personally I'm not into Kleiner, nor some of the other people on his list.

Too many guppies in this small pond, which is why a large number of my left-leaning friends in Tel Aviv tell me they only vote for large parties (actually some of my right-wing friends say the same thing). I just tell them 'Not Kadima'.

Anonymous said...

just a quick note, Joe - about Moishe. While I agree with you, and feel the same discomfort about what seems a TRULY groundless 'conflict' and an apparent "political posturing" on part of PE, I cannot escape the realization that Manhigut was swept along, ineffectual, by Sharon, just like the majority of the Likud.
Yes, it's long term - and before the 'cat was out of the bag' the Likud was the obvious Large Party to 'take over', as Feiglin promotes. But the cat DID get out, and the veneer of 'accountability' of parties to their electorate (or even to their own membership!) was stripped away by Sharon's Rule by Fiat.
Yes, it's long term, but PE several times, including AFTER merger with HAZIT, offered to give Moishe Feiglin complete leadership of the Jewish National Movement. As I understand it, Marzel was willing to step aside as well, as #1 on the list. So it's not like PE doesn't fundamentally admire everything Moishe is trying to achieve, but rather that he deeply doubts the effectivness of the strategy within Israel's political system. Feiglin has thus far declined, doubtless as he perceives it would be contrary to his goal of reaching out inclusively to ALL Israelis, and the JNM is admittedly "Fringe" in Israeli perception, if not actuality of course.

But what Feiglin is left with is riding a very leaky boat - and the Manhigut is still years away from meaningful Knesset presence. I think Bibi will do OK this election, better than many credit - and he is making noises about partial electoral reform (half PR/half direct election), and also empowering the full Likud membership on existential issues (he, in any case, would follow the membership wishes, unlike Sharon). At least this begins the critical debate (IMO), if he carries through.
I dunno of course. Moishe Feiglin has tremendous unrealized power. Do we have the time to wait? Or must we rally w/extra-parliamentary groups and like-minded individuals to offer a stark and clear alternative of radical REGIME CHANGE!
I 'vote' for the latter.

I'm still musing whether, as PE let slip in an unguarded interview moment awhile back, whether for the first time in Israeli election history NO Party will be able to form a government on the 29th. That'd be a show!

JoeSettler said...

(That's a quick note?)

Your and PE's assumptions vis-a-vis Feiglin assumes that Kadima is more than a 1-hit-wonder, and Likud won't be back on top again.

I personally propose that Kadima might very well fall apart after the elections. Once Olmert has to start giving out gifts to the various Kadima MKs and there aren't positions to go around, the self-centered glue temporarily holding Kadima together will become undone.

Netanyahu (and Peretz) will merely have to start offering Minister and Deputy Minister positions to a few dissatisfied and unrewarded Kadima MKs and watch them bolt back to Labor and Likud (or at least vote in favor of Netanyahu for PM as they can't really jump ship so quickly without legal problems).

PE also misunderstands Feiglin's goal. Feiglin does not want to be the head of a partisan party. Feiglin wants to be the Prime Minister where he will be able to make his changes (as Sharon proved). Feiglin is looking at the long term, and I think he is 100% right that a PM candidate with a realistic chance can only come from the top 2 (now 3) parties.

And anyway, there isn't one right way, it will take different groups working all the angles from top to bottom to make the change (and counter all the left-wing groups doing the same from their end). Feiglin has to continue his way, Marzel his, and the NU theirs (unfortunately with the NRP). Working together but differently is the only way to make things happen.

Eitan Ha'ahzari said...

Joe: I checked out the two top posts you listed. Indeed, you're educating me(and others, I'm sure) on the NRP or as you call it the "Not Relevant Party". Still I want to make my vote count and since all those voting Hazit are throwing away their votes I'm left with either NU/NRP or Lieberman. I'll still go with NU/NRP after all that.

Thanks for the info., Eitan.

JoeSettler said...

NU is my number 2 vote is Marzel wasn't there, and would have been my #1 vote if NRP wasn't there.

I wouldn't touch Lieberman.

Anonymous said...

Joe, (and this time truly short!) - I bow to your analysis, in your last comment about Kadima imploding, Feiglin's future progress...{sincerely}. Also concur that many ways must be employed to lever us out of this electoral trap. Would it ever be wonderful to have a threshold that would preclude all but say, 5 parties, eh?! With members whom we can name and butt-kick when required!
Concur also that Marzel's definately in - blowing hot and cold as to whether it's "big" (relatively) or "skin of teeth"....

JoeSettler said...

I completely disagree with the threshold idea.

I think we should have direct elections for PM who will act a separate executive branch and not require any majority to form a coalition. His powers will be clearly defined and a series of checks and balances between the powers of the PM and the Knesset will be introduced.

There should be no minimum threshold for the Knesset. The more anarchy, the more individuality, the more democracy. Parties of one for all as far as I’m concerned.

And obviously direct elections of Knesset members to, or perhaps a split between a national (party list) and a regional (individual list). I have to think about it more as it is not so simple a concept.

Anonymous said...

Must demure about the threshold issue, Joe...If Israel were not beset by enemies, I suppose yes, possible. But we need an absolutely clear National Voice, and Unity of Purpose (love 'capitals' :o) )
Anyway, we need parties with comprehensive agendas, fit to rule, and especially in a heterogeneous, perhaps the most heterogeneous of all the countries in the world, the electorate must be prepared to work to a common National purpose, whether of the Meretz or the Hazit variety. We cannot afford to be catering to, or distracted by, the narrow interests of casino owners or taxi drivers. Remember that individually elected MK's, in district elections, will represent YOUR interests. If you and enough of your neighbours have an issue important enough for national attention, YOUR MK will be able to bring it to consideration in the Knesset. But in the bigger picture, the parties must stand for something, clear lines of vision and division, uncompromising - and the electorate must care enough to choose.

The other thing, the possibility of mixed PR and regional direct elections - like you say, it's complicated. Something like the Australian system might work here, if we're keeping in a Parliamentary model...of course Eidelberg discusses several workable possibilities in Statesmanship, but in the end strongly favours the US system, Fully Judaized.

An independant Executive? Mandatory. But not towards coalition, not within Cabinet! A minority government can rule, like it does in Canada, with the ongoing consent of the other parties in Parliament, but the Cabinet is purely a creation of the ruling party, never made up of OPPOSITION parties. If a minority government cannot achieve compromises acceptable to the majority of other Parliamentary parties - on specific votes or issues!, - it falls to a vote of No Confidence, and there are new elections.
NOT 'give away' Ministerial Portfolios to the OPPOSITION, to 'buy power'! This is insane! A recipe for grotesque corruption!


The basic 'checks and balances' between PM and members in a healthy parliament is the ability of independant directly elected members to vote the government out!

Direct election of PM is fine enough (good practice for a Presidency), but makes little difference in a system where there is no separation between the Executive and Legislative Branch.

Anonymous said...

Voting for someone because of a principle of Marzel being a proud Jew etc.. is nice and dandy. In any other country.

The next government will attemp to create the borders of the State of Israel. If you vote for a party that does not get in, YOU will have vote for Kadima. (Assuming Kadima is the largest party.) You will have to explain to your daughter that "True, I knew Marzel was not going to get in, but I voted for him anyway for the priciple that he should be in, and YES as a result I help Olmert destroy Jewish Communinties.

Instead hold your nose, and vote smart. Drop the principle. We cant afford it this time.

Son of Deer

JoeSettler said...

On the contrary. I will be able to say that I voted in the person I felt was most likely to stand up against the next disengagement and I did my best to help him get in.

With the exception of the NU (without Mafdal) there is no other party that hasn't outright indicated that they have a price for their support on this (or any other) issue.

So a vote for a party without principles (or half of a party without principles) is the same as giving the vote to Kadima who will be more than willing to pay the price listed on the label.

JoeSettler said...

Oh. And I also think Marzel has a chance of getting in.

JoeSettler said...

A 10 year veteran Moledet party member wrote the following this evening...

Well I know I getting myself into some deep water here BUT I have been reading and discussing the elections with many and have come to the conclusion that I am voting Baruch Marzel! Not as a hafgana but rather with the understanding that in a democracy one should have the power to vote in what he believes in.
The were some specific points from the Ichud Haleumi that upset me!

1. Mr. Orlev is the main reason why I am not voting Ichud Mafdal! He is number two on the list and While I hope Beni Elon is getting better ( I am davening everyday for his health) I saw what Orlev did to the Mfdal party when he was number two! In my eyes Orlev is part of the Meimad movement.
Unfortunately Orlev and others had to be fired from the government instead of leaving on their own account when Sharon was planning the Katif Expulsion! There really is no excuse! Mr. Orlev has already come out and said that they will sit with a Kadima government! I would rather vote for Baruch Marzel and have him stubbornly become the opposition rather that have a pragmatic Orlev discuss with Olmert which Yishuvim he should rip apart!
On the Ichud prospect I received on my car tonight there is a picture of the top ten MK's from Ichud - what a winning team they look like - HOW INTERESTING THAT THEY TOOK ORLEV'S PIC OUT!!!!! he is number two!!! What are they hiding! I think a number two should be in the

2. In terms of the Achuz Chasima sorry people I don't buy it! First of all according to all info I have Baruch is passing! I happen to have several serious acquaintances from Chabad who told me that many are voting Marzel!
( as a Klal)
Second of all let's play Ichuds little game of fear tactics!

Well......... Ichud Haleumi is getting 9 according to the SKARIM but lets give them 13 ok!
Kadima 34
Avoda 22
Meretz 7
Lets see we are at = 70 so far = and that without Shas and Aguda!!

so if Marzel Doesn't pass and Ichud would have gotten 15 instead of 9 what would we have??
Ichud 15
Likud 13
Leiberman 12

Lets be unrealistic and double ichuds power to 18 seats!!!!!!
42 seats - and another 18 ( double what the Sekarim say!) for Ichud = 60!!!!!! What a bummer!

So lets face the fact that Ichud will be in the opposition ( unless orlev carries out his threat to be pragmatic and join the Kdima party!) NO WASTED VOTE THERE!

NOW here's one more point of view! I have been told that I am giving a vote for Kadima by voting Marzel! PLEASE DO ME A FAVOR!!

Orlev said the will sit with Kadima so the way I see it a vote for Orlev is a vote for Kadima!!

NOW down to business!

Here is what is in the Ichud platform!
?????? ?????? - ???"? ???? ???? ?? ????? ?????? ???? ?????? ???? ??????
This is what it says in the platform of Ichud Haleumi!
Can someone please explain what that means? If the Arabs offer peace if we leave certain areas what is Ichuds stand! Because I know that Orlev is for the land for peace deal!
Does Orlev and friends believe in transfer? I know what they don't want but I do Not KNOW what they do want to do with the PLO?!

Now I know that many Rabanim told the Ichud to join with Marzel but Ichud refused! Why is that??

Look, I am sure many of us understand that Marzel is the way to go! So behind that curtain when no one is watching you can Vote Kaph! NO ONE WILL KNOW!!!!

Now unless someone gives me some good arguments with facts and not scare tactics!! I see no reason to vote IChud and all the reason to vote Hazit!!!

As written in Shir Hasherim = Hakol hevel havalim!!!

Anonymous said...

deer- if marzel is missing 1 vote to get in, how will you explain to your daughter that you convinced someone to not vote for him, which could have turned the tide?

Anonymous said...


I would hope Marzel would be in the knesset, BUT these elections are too important too hope, because if he is not elected, YOU voted for the leftist party. It simply is too risky. There is no room for risks or priciples when my country is at stake.

Son of Deer

Anonymous said...

there is obviously no room for principles in this election. that is why you are accusing all marzel voters of doing the wrong thing while you vote for a party in which half the members will scoot on over to kadima at their first opportunity (unless you mean we should vote leberman, shas or gimmel in which case all their members will scoot on over to kadima if he makes a better offer, or likud were bibi will be ousted and then silvan will take them over to kadima for free).

a vote for any party other than marzel is a clear risk that they will go and join kadima, and then YOU will have given kadima the government. you are risking OUR country.

Anonymous said...

Thank you all the expert Marzel and Kleiner voters. You were great! We can start packing our bags. You really made a statement. Thank you again.

Son of Deer

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