Elections in Israel will be held, IY"H, on Tuesday. Personally, I can't wait until they're over. Like all elections, this one has had its share of nasty comments, attacks on parties and personalities, and all sorts of negatives that I hope will pass by the time the polls close.
Right wingers have a real dilemma in this election - for whom should they cast their vote?
** Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home)
** Otzma Le'Yisrael
Likud/Beiteinu, a joint party of Binyamin Netanyahu's Likud and Avigdor Leiberman's Yisrael Beiteinu, is the party expected to get the most votes - 30 something.
Bayit Yehudi is the party of the quickly rising politician Naftali Bennett. It's the party that is attacked more on every side by just about every party. That must mean that Bennett and his party are worrying everyone else.
Otzma Le'Yisrael, the party of MKs Aryeh Eldad and Michael Ben Ari, is expected just to cross the threshold, but cross just the same.
They all have their pluses; they all have superstar right-wingers in their parties; they all have folks that have proven that ideology and action can go together; they have all declared their love and devotion to the land of Israel and its people to some extent or another.
They could all lead the country in positive directions if there were no outside pressures.
The problem is that:
** Right wing voters appreciate the decision by the Prime Minister to build in Judea and Samaria, but they're waiting to see if the building comes to fruition (freezes are easy; defrosts are months or years in progress). Right wingers don't know if the Likud/Beiteinu government (even though it does include many stellar right-wing MKs) will lean to the left to make a coalition.
Interesting note: American "movie stars" are coming out for Netanyahu. Should that sway Israeli voters?
** Right wingers appreciate Bayit Yehudi's dedication to Jewish education, yeshivot, hesder and mechina (pre-Army yeshivot) programs. They appreciate their connection to Jewish communities throughout Israel. They also don't know how Bayit Yehudi will stand up to the challenge if G-d forbid Jewish communities are slated for destruction, or if Jews are forced out of their homes. Rumors pass along lots of Bayit Yehudi quotes or misquotes, and hopefully folks try to discover the truth, but who really knows.
[Bayit Yehudi is currently under attack again - this time for Jeremy Gimpel's statement, "Let's say the dome was blown up, and we laid the cornerstone of the Temple in Jerusalem." That doesn't scare a right-winger, and everyone knows Jeremy Gimpel is a very fine and principled young man, so I think that attack has "blown up" against the other parties.]
** Right wing voters appreciate the devotion MKs Arye Eldad and Michael Ben Ari have always done for all of Israel, especially for Jewish rights in Judea and Samaria. They can always be depended upon. But are two, or even three members of Otzma Le'Yisrael enough to make a difference. Perhaps yes. But who knows?
So, it's Sunday night, and right wing voters are calling one another, "What do you think?" "I don't know." "Neither do I." And then they call someone else.
You'd think it wouldn't matter. Right wingers have three good choices. But, as in every election, Israel stands yet again on the brink of a precipice, and every action and decision by the Knesset can change the course of history forever. So, right wingers are considering their votes very carefully. They're hoping for some kind of inspiration. They're hoping that by Tuesday morning, they'll see a sign that will make them feel secure that they'll be making the right choice.
Good luck to all voters, and to the State of Israel. May the Force be with you.