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Dec 1, 2008

Ani Yehudi gei'eh

So last night I got my first telephone pollster for the Likud primaries.

I will preface this by saying that I have not yet compiled a full list of which candidates I support and will vote for in the primaries. Basically, every member of the Likud can vote for 10 candidates from the list. When the votes are tallied, the number of votes will decide which candidate gets in, and at which position in the list.

So, I know a few of the candidates I will be supporting, but I do not have a full list of ten.

The guy calls and asks me about a few specific candidates and whether there is a good chance I will vote for them or not. He listed about 4 of the bigger name, ending with Moshe Feiglin. That rang a bell, and I suspected the poll was to try to calculate how much support Feiglin actually has and if his chances are realistic or not. The names listed were names like Begin, Meridor, Jabotinsky, and Feiglin (I do not remember if these 4 were the specific names, but I think they were).

After that he asked me a few questions specifically about Feiglin. he asked if I think that if Feiglin gets in if it will hurt or help the Likud. I responded that I already said I am voting for Moshe Feiglin, so obviously I think it will help the Likud.
He asked that some say if Feiglin gets in, the Likud will lose possibly 6 mandates - will you still vote for Feiglin. I said I disagree with that opinion, so I will still be voting Feiglin.
He asked further - if Bibi Netanyahu gives specific instructions to not vote Feiglin because it will hurt the Likud, will you still vote Feiglin or will you not? I said I disagree with that opinion, and therefore I will still be voting Feiglin.

After that, he went through a list of names of various candidates, about 20 of them, asking me to say which ones I had a good chance to vote for, good chance not to, definitely will, or definitely will not.

As I said before, I have not really compiled a full list yet, so I ended up saying yes to too many people, because whenever I heard the name of someone I know I like, I said I would likely vote for him. So we had to go through the list again and whittle away a few names to get my list down to 10.

The truth is that I do not remember which names, other than a few of them, I said I would vote for and which I would not. I remember saying NO to Dan Meridor, Yechiel Leiter, Assaf Hefetz, and Yossi Peled. I remember saying YES to Benny Begin, Ruby Rivlin, Zev Jabotinsky (not sure why - I think it is the name appeal even though I know nothing about him) and I think Gilad Erdan.

There were many more in the list that I do not remember. Thankfully it was just a poll, and not a commitment, because I cannot even remember who I said yes to... I really have to start sitting down and going through the list of candidates and deciding which 10 I will vote for. One thing I am waiting for is to see the various recommended lists (that will be put out by various big names, such as Moshe Feiglin, Bibi Netanyahu, and others), and pick some from those lists based on helping certain agendas be achievable....

When we finally completed all the names, he said, "Now, just one final question - are you a hiloni, masorati, dati or haredi Jew?"

I answered "Just a Jew. Simply a Jew."

He laughed and said, "But what should I write down on the form?"

I said write "Ani Yehudi Gei'eh" - "I am a proud Jew."

This was the first of what is goign to likely be many polls....


  1. rafi, what was the beginning again?
    Are you a registered likudnik?

  2. What's wrong with Yechiel Leiter?

  3. wahts - fixed. sorry.
    I am a registered Likudnik.

    shimon - I do not know much, really anythign about Leiter, other than few things I read that left a bad taste in my mouth.

    For starters, you can read the threads on the following two sites, mostly in the comments - http://sbehr.blogspot.com/2008/11/likud-primaries-dilemma.html

    and http://cosmicx.blogspot.com/2008/11/whos-jew.html

    I also read an interview with him the other day (I do not have a link for it) that left me uncomfortable.

    Is that a reason to not support him? I do not know. But if I only get 10 votes anyway, why should I give one of those votes to someone who leaves me very unsure and uncomfortable when I can give it to one of a number of other very good candidates who I am happy to support?

  4. I think that the correct answer is that while Feiglin might very well be bad for the Likud (i have no idea if that number of mandates they'd lose is correct)- he's good for the country.

  5. What a stupid question. Obviously you support the Likud because you believe in certain ideas. So you want people who agree with your ideas. If they're not running candidates you agree with why bother. So, they want you to not vote for Feiglin so they can get more seats for people you DON'T agree with???
    Are you sure you want to vote for these guys?

  6. the question itself I think is valid.

    first of all it is a poll. so they are trying to gauge how much support he really has. They were not calling to convince me not to vote for him.

    Second, it is valid because there is a certain level of pragmatism that can be expected. It is valid to consider the effect that if candidate x gets in, and the Likud ends up with only 30 seats, compared to candidate x not getting in and the likud ending up with 36 seats. Pragmatism would suggest that the Likud will be stronger without candidate x. It is a valid consideration.
    I just happen to not agree with it.

  7. Jeremy, what do you mean? How far would you go? Would you prefer a Kadima government with Feiglin in the Knesset to a Likud one without him?

  8. Risa,

    Your question would be valid if Knesset worked like, e.g., the US Congress, but it's doesn't. No matter who gets in on the Likud list, the Likud block votes as one. So if someone generally supports Likud ideals, he should prefer that they get more seats total than if they get fewer seats but "their guy" gets one of those seats.

    Besides memberships on committees, I don't really see what the big deal is over who gets a seat - Likud's mandates in Knesset count for the same number of votes no matter who actually gets a seat.

  9. Why do you think that Feiglin won't scare centrist voters away from the Likud? Or do you not care?

  10. he might, but a) I dont want Likud to be so centrist and b) too many centrists with no feiglin will scare away the right wing from the Likud.

    The Likud was neevr meant to be centrist party. It was always, until Bibi, a right wing party, which is where most of the people of Israel stood (even Labor of old was more right wing than the current Likud).

  11. 1. Feiglin will bring in very few votes for the Likud. Whatever votes he does bring in will be taken from right wing parties. However Kadima will have a field day with Feiglin in one of the stop slots in the Likud.
    I don't know how you define right-wing. Begin built all over Yesha, but gave 80% of our territory and destroyed Yamit in the Camp David Accords. Netanyahu was elected after Oslo was a signed agreement ratified by the Knesset.
    Morever the Likud was never whatever Manhigut wants it to be.
    Feiglin got almost no votes from rank-and-file Likudniks last time or the time befrore that or the time before that despite Netanyahu's unpopularity. Do you really think that Feiglin will be able to take over a major party. Even if he would take over the Likud one day, its voters wold run away so far that it would daven for the day it gets 12 seats again.

  12. eli - your theory is obviously the most popular one of what happens with Feiglin in the Likud...

    it does not concern me though. Personally, I do not se eit as realistic for Feiglin to take over the Likud. For that to happen, and the Likud to remain the Likud, it would take either a) a miracle or b) a major catastrophe chas v'shalom of greater than 9/11 proportions just prior.

    What I would like to see, and consider it possible, is for Feiglin, and others like him, to gain more power in the Likud. They would set the bar on the right a bit further to the right, and make it all the more difficult for the centrists to have too much control.

  13. Rafi: I plan on posting a complete list of reccommendations (and reasons why) in the coming days.

    I have issues with Benny Begin which I am currently examining with his staffers.

    Yechiel Leiter is not on my list for many reasons, yet the top of it is his up front statement of his desire to destroy 11 Jewish communities and to exile another 5000 Jews from their homes.

    If this is his starting negotiating position, you can be sure his ending one will be much worse.

  14. Thanks Rafi and others for the info about Yechiel Leiter. Even if he doesn't get my vote he still came out with a great clip. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53iQeWqR6iQ&NR=1

  15. that is a great clip, shimon. thanks!

  16. Although I have Betar (not the soccor team - the Zionist movement) in my background and I was a great admirer of Menachem Begin (for many years) I never voted for the Likud. The main reason I didn't vote for the Likud was I had trouble with the 'liberal' attitude towards the Jewish aspects of running this Jewish state. In '77 I was proud when just a few short weeks after winning the election M. Begin went to shul and read his haftara 'Nahamu'. But of course that isn't enough.
    For a variety of reasons, I am, for the first time in my 41 years here considering voting Likud. But one of the reasons I can even entertain this idea is that there is (hopefully) a strong religious right-wing presence. If there isn't, it will be hard for me to vote for them.
    Glug, glug, I am officially a קול צף, floating vote.

  17. risa - who have you generally supported? Ichud Leumi?

  18. B"H

    I know this is a dumb question but do we have to vote for 10? Does the ballot get thrown out if we don't?

    I was thinking I'd only vote for Feiglin and maybe Sacket. Begin and Rivlin do not need my help. The others on the Manhigut Yehudit list don't have a chance.

  19. Yes, Ichud Leumi and way back when I voted for Chanan Porat when he was with Verdiger from Poalei Agudat Yisrael (sometime in the 80s if my memory serves me).


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