Photo: Motti Kimchi
'UTJ represents the only way which gives the Jewish people a chance to exist 100 years from now'
Photo: Motti Kimchi
Photo: Orel Cohen
Prof. Ariel Rubinstein
Photo: Orel Cohen

Meretz or United Torah Judaism?

Op-ed: As a person who cares about the continued existence of the Jewish people and seeks to uproot nationalism from the Israeli society, I have two parties to choose from.

If I were a settler, I would vote for the Zionist Camp. The settlement enterprise needs cyclicality in the government.


When the right rules, more funds are funneled to the settlements, a number of settlements are established and a number of hills are expropriated. When the left rules, slightly fewer funds are funneled, the expansion is only carried out to provide the product of the Jewish mother's womb, and the expropriation is for the security and regional development needs – as if for the sake of all residents.



When the right rules, there are statements and provocations against the world's nations. When the left rules, there are songs of peace and not much less action, the world is careful not to boycott settlement products and the leftists take fewer pictures. The West Bank becomes smaller, the possibilities are limited and numerous people are interested in relocating to the sidelines of Nablus. This cyclicality is enough to allow a significant and stable growth of the Jewish population in the territories.


If the new government is led by the Zionist Camp, the Israeli foreign minister may eat hummus in Ramallah, and the Palestinian foreign minister may visit Yad Vashem, but no real agreement will be signed. And if one is signed, it won't be implemented. Some Labor Knesset members have explicitly sympathized with the settlements, and others will not harm the national unity. The Congress will applaud Isaac Herzog, and the danger of Israel's isolation will disappear.


That's very important for the settlers. Even the "price tag heroes" prefer to slash tires and spray-paint mosques while F-35 stealth fighters, a gift from America, shield them from the sky. In other words, a government with the Zionist camp is like oxygen for the settlement enterprise: In the settlers' eyes, it's a step towards redemption; in my eyes, it's the biggest catastrophe the Jewish people have brought upon themselves.


Meretz. 'The only Jewish party which renounces the settlements without stammering and without apologizing' (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
Meretz. 'The only Jewish party which renounces the settlements without stammering and without apologizing' (Photo: Motti Kimchi)


To all those delusional people who think the Zionist Camp will create a revolutionary change: Do you have many examples from history in which a dramatic upheaval like the evacuation of territories took place following a narrow election victory, rather than as a result of a war, an epidemic, a serious economic crisis or all of the above?


Political manipulations and waving the bottle deposit affair may achieve another minister in a national unity government, but will not change the people's heart. And according to the current condition of the heart, we are nowhere near the evacuation of territories.


By the way, the economic right has nothing to worry about either. With its latest addition, the Labor Party has turned from a party with a social-democratic nature into a coalition of defenders of the current order, armed with sweet talk and bold proposals for marginal amendments.


But I am not a settler, so the Zionist Camp does not constitute an alternative for me. I must ask myself what are the issues I find most important. And my answer is that there are two main goals I care about: The continued existence of the Jewish people and uprooting the nationalism from the Israeliness. I also have clear opinions on social issues, but there isn’t a single party which is offering more than marginal reforms which will preserve the economic hegemony of those who are already strong.


So here's the dilemma: I am not a religious person, but I must admit that after the nationalization of Zionism, the only way which gives the Jewish people a chance to exist 100 years from now is the haredi way (of the Lithuanian model, which praises studying and despises superstitions), and in Israeli politics it is represented by United Torah Judaism. I also sympathize with this party my grandfather published articles in Agudath Israel's journals 80 years ago. For me, voting for UTJ is connecting to the tribe.


On the other hand, the only Jewish party which renounces the settlements without stammering and without apologizing is Meretz. My children support it too, and for me, voting for Meretz is connecting to the young generation.


So although I regret UTJ's exclusion of women and disagree with Meretz's exaggerated liberalism on immigration issues, I am undecided: My grandfather is pointing to Agudath Israel while my children are calling on me to vote for Meretz.


Who should I vote for?


פרסום ראשון: 02.13.15, 09:14
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