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New olah; mom and wife. In small ways, every day, trying to rectify the error in judgement of my zaydies, the meraglim. "See these big grapes? We can make really big wine!"

Archive for the ‘vote’ Category

Crossing the Yarden – Election Special (Guest Post)

Posted by rutimizrachi on 09/02/2009

Yom rishon, Tu b’Shevat, 15 Shevat 5769.

If I were funny, I would be my friend, Yarden. 
But then I would have to drop a decade or so, work way too hard, be ridiculously athletic, and be married to my good friend, Stella.  You see the problem.  No WAY am I running a marathon.
Please read Yarden’s take on tomorrow’s elections.  You will have no more questions about anything.

Crossing the Yarden
By Yarden Frankl

I Get To Vote Again!

The American elections are very straightforward. They occur every four
years on the first Tuesday of November. There are only two parties.
Each candidate adopts a slogan which defines his party (“Yes, We Can”
or “Alaska is near Russia”) and whomever can answer difficult
questions out on the campaign trail (“How many houses do you own”)
usually wins.

The opposite of the orderly American elections is the balagan that we
engage in here every…. well that’s just it. We never know when the
next elections take place. That’s why most politicians start taking
bribes immediately. They just don’t know how long before they will be
voted out.

We can never predict who will be running. Every election small parties
come and go. My favorite one hit wonder from the last election was the
pensioners’ party. They achieved their goal in that all seven Knesset
members can now go back to retirement with really big pensions.

So who will win tomorrow? Well the polls show a really close race. Yet
poll numbers in Israel cannot be accepted. In fact, a recent Channel 3
poll found that 82 percent of respondents admit to regularly lying to
pollsters. The big question is whether to believe that people who
claim to be lying are telling the truth.

Since the Israeli elections can be so confusing, I now present the
second Crossing the Yarden Guide to the Israeli elections. If you just
take one minute to read on, you will no longer be confused and know
exactly which party you must vote for:

The Likud: Benjamin Netanyahu is today the most popular candidate
among those who considered him least popular when he was Prime
Minister. If elected, Netanyahu has promised to destroy Hamas, free
Gilad, end the Iranian threat, reform the economy, bring Moshiach and
tackle whatever the next three issues the polls are showing people
care about.

Kadima: Kadima is a one man party. Which is very interesting because
the man it is based on is not only hated by both the right and the
left, but also has been in a coma for a few years. I can only assume
that their impressive poll position is due to the many other coma
patients whose preferences were recorded. That and the really neat
looking Tzipi Livni posters plastered on all the buses.

Labor: Labor believes that they can make peace by strategically giving
in to every single demand made by Israel’s enemies. They are unfazed
by the recent polls showing that more people in Israel love drinking
beet juice than will vote for them. In a surprise move, Labor named
U.S. President Barack Obama as their leader and adopted the slogan
“Yes, can we too?”

Israel Betenu: (“Israel is my home, get out”) is led by Avigdor
Lieberman. He has received a great deal of notoriety for his
controversial plan to annex West Bank Settlements and give Arab
populated areas of the Galilee and Detroit to the Palestinians. This
has most alarmed Arab Israelis who although they want to help their
Palestinian brothers destroy the State of Israel, they really don’t
want to live with them.

The National Union of Jewish Homes. Since they realize that their
views are only shared by a tiny fraction of Israeli voters, the right
wing of Israeli politics is taking the sensible approach by…. dividing
into several even smaller parties. Their goal seems to be to sit in
the opposition and work on how to divide into even more parties after
the elections.

The Pot Smoking Holocaust Survivors. I’m not making this up!! The
small parties that represent Holocaust Survivors and those who want to
legalize Marijuana have formed one crazy party. Hey, if enough people
think this is a joke and vote for them, they just might win!

Shas and United Torah Judaism: Religious parties. If you are a true
believer you must vote for them because 1) they represent the “true
believer” population of Israel and 2) you really believe that voting
for someone else is a vote for the devil.

Now, I hope that has cleared things up. Go vote tomorrow and enjoy the holiday.

Chag Election Sameach from our crazy, blessed nation.

Yarden Frankl, Neve Daniel                                           
http://www.crossingtheyarden.com

       The sweaty guy is Yarden, the Stunt Man’s mentor.
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Posted in Crossing the Yarden, elections. voting, Israel, vote | 3 Comments »

Vote for a Jewish Homeland

Posted by rutimizrachi on 08/02/2009

Yom rishon, 14 Shevat 5769.

Voting.  Our civil right.  One of the threads that keeps our “democratic” system of government intact.

Here is why I wasn’t going to vote this time around.

It is no secret to my friends that I tend to be just to the Right of Attila the Hun politically.  I am a religious Jew, so halacha is important to me.  I am cautious about politically-imposed halacha without the guidance of Moshiach, as there seem to be too many interpretations out there to make me confident that we really know what is best for all the people.  But my Torah outlook tends to keep me on the conservative side of arguments.  I love this Land of Israel; and know that it must remain the home of the Jewish nation.  So I am not for giving it up for illusions of peace, or to try to convince the world to like us.  I am not even sure we are halachically allowed to give away any of it for any reason.

I believed in Binyamin Netanyahu years ago, even though his platform wasn’t particularly religious.  He sounded intelligent enough to know that we can’t give away the Land.  But after he gave away Hevron, I realized that I had been believing in ghosts.  I thought he would be as heroic as I imagined his brother, Yoni zt”l, to be.  And I fell for the ghost of good public speaking.  At the end of the day, Bibi let us down.  It would have been better had he remained an articulate spokesman for the Jewish people, perhaps with control of the economy.  Control of the country seemed more than he could bear.

I have waited to hear him say that Hevron was a mistake.  But I don’t think he thinks it was.  This troubles me.

I believed in Ariel Sharon.  He was clearly a tough guy, who had fought for many of the kilometers of soil we now held, after successful defensive wars.  Surely I could trust him not to give away an inch of our holy Land.  I wonder what he is thinking about these days, in that deep, deep place in which he hovers.  Would he have done anything differently, with the wisdom he must now surely possess?

Moshe Feiglin is interesting.  But he and I handled the painful disaster of Gush Katif differently.  We were both angry and devastated by the theft of it from our people, by our people.  But after it was lost to us, I decided that it was Hashem who said no.  We have an opportunity to treat the dispossessed people of Gush Katif well, or not.  But for reasons of his own, Hashem did not bring the miracle that could have allowed a win for all of the people who marched and prayed and wept and spoke out — for all of the holy Jews all over the world who cared.

Moshe and I were together in our thinking on many points.  But I have waited in vain to hear him come through for me on one point:  How will he bring the people of this nation together, post-Gush Katif?  He wrote something that made me quite nervous several months ago, about how we would have won at Gush Katif and Amona if we had fought harder.  I wrote to him to ask him what his end-game scenario would look like.  Is it okay with you, Moshe, if Jews begin to kill Jews, in an effort to hold onto the Land?  He was too busy to answer.

Yaakov “Ketzaleh” Katz is the founder of Arutz Sheva, aka Israel National News.  Also at Gush Katif, there was a major difference of opinion between the staion policy and Rav Shlomo Aviner.  This was illustrated by the sudden absence of any Rav Aviner commentary. Apart from an occasional news reference, this lack has continued until today.  Does Ketzaleh believe that it is appropriate to “tear kriah” over someone with whom we disagree on one major issue?  This, again, gives me concern regarding another potential leader’s ability to bring the people together.  If we cannot even make peace on the Right, how can we make peace among the Jewish nation?  It would make me more hopeful if I saw that rift healed, by a return of Rav Aviner’s wisdom to the station I hold in high regard.

I realize that I am politically naive.  But if Yisrael Beiteinu, Shas, Ichud Leumi, and United Torah Judaism got together, their combined ranking of 46 would send the other parties packing.

Of course, that would mean that they would have to put the good of the Land and the People ahead of their partisan differences…

There are only a few people I would really want to vote for, and they’re not running.  Rabbi Shlomo Aviner.  Rabbi Natan Lopes Cardozo.  Professor Robert Yisrael Aumann.  Tzafrir Ronen, zt”l.

An Ashkenazic Rabbi, originally from France.  A Sephardic Rabbi, originally from Holland.  A Nobel Prize winning games theory scientist, who is also an Orthodox Jew.  And a recently-deceased self-described “irreligious” Jew.

They have at least one thing in common:  they put their love of the Jewish people above all earthly things.

Each of us must make a personal decision about our priorities; and I happen to agree with these men.  The Jewish people and our connection with each other is even more important than the fine points of holy, holy halacha, even more important than the holy, holy Land. The halacha and the land are Hashem’s gifts to us, and are very precious.  But they cease to have meaning if we sacrifice each other in their honor.

Finally, Dr. Tziona Fleisher convinced me to vote.  In her commentary, “Get Out the Jewish Vote,” this former Zionist refusenik from the USSR reminds me of one of my own “bottom lines.”

As much doubt as I may have about Bibi’s strength in the clutch, about Moshe’s love of all of the Jewish people, about Ketzaleh’s desire for unity with his ideological opponents…  these candidates are all Jewish people.  And Tziona points out the important demographic problem:  If fewer and fewer Jews vote for Jews, and more and more Arabs vote for Arabs…  Well, you do the math.

With all of our faults, I want this to remain a Jewish country.

Glossary:
halacha:  Jewish Torah-based law
tear kriah:  to treat as if dead, to disown
refusenik:  a Jew in the USSR who was refused permission to emigrate

News flash!  The latest edition of Haveil Havalim is out on the stands, expertly edited by the ever erudite Esser Agaroth!                                                                  

Posted in Esser Agaroth, Haveil Havalim, Israel, vote, voting | 4 Comments »