Personal thoughts on current events, cultural events, Israel, Judaism, Jewish/Israel innovations and life from a Jewish perspective - read into that what you may.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

What Makes Manhigut Yehudit Different?

This write up is my response to somebody's question on how Manhigut Yehudit differs from Gush Emunim, which failed in its goal of achieving public support in changing Israeli society to have a more Jewish orientation.

Gush Emunim focused its attention on establishing settlements - with the perspective that with those actions and the consequences of those actions, the rest of Israeli society would be influenced. However, GE made one major mistake - the settlements that they established became almost all religiously occupied due to the strict communal rules established for acceptance to those settlements. This was a fatal mistake that alone was instrumental in cutting off whole populations from taking part in the societal change that they wanted to institute. Hence, in hindsight, they now realize that they should have focused on establishing more city like settlements like Ariel and Maale Adumim with no acceptance committees. They didn't and we are now suffering the consequences.

In addition, GE (which turned into moetzet Yesha) turned into a political body subservient to the establishment - not in a position to change society, but only in the position to look after its own interests, haggling for budgets like every other political body. This was another fateful mistake that made it impossible for them to fulfill their societal mission.

MY on the other hand is focused on becoming the establishment, by working within a party of the amcha that stands up for the same ideals. The key issue is that we are in the Likud to strengthen it because the emuni aspect is missing, even though the ideals are there. As we have all seen, the ideals themselves have not helped the Likud leaders lead according to them. Without the emuni basis for those ideals, the minute they attain leadership, the ideals they say they stand for are dropped. We have strengthened those within the Likud who hold these ideals dear and they are very happy that we are there saving the party from self-destruction.

MY has set itself the goal to become the political establishement because only then will we have a chance to make real change happen. At the same time we must spread our messages of societal values and change at the personal level so that the public pressure would exist for the political realm to institute the changes. One can not exist without the other, otherwise certain failure will result. This is a long process that does not happen overnight and MY can't be judged now for what can only be accomplished after a number of years.
It can only be judge now on the steps it has taken to be in a position to attain its goals, and if we use that as a measuring stick it has been extremely successful in a very short period of time.

Gush Emunim failed because of mistakes it made. That does not mean that learning from those mistakes and making another go at accomplishing societal change should be scrapped.

Finally, after being involved with MY and meeting many of its members that include secular Israelis, veteran masorati Likudnikim and Russians, I know that many Israelis are thirsting for the values that we stand for. They just have never been approached before by religious people wanting to work WITH them to accomplish it. Up until know the religious political establishment has always acted in a sectoral fashion only looking after its own interests. Here is finally a group that is acting within a diversified group together with all the other groups.

The age of the sectoral religious/right-wing parties is ending, Baruch Hashem, and it is MY that is making it happen - in a few more elections the Likud will be the natural home for all Jews who have a strong Jewish identity, regardless of their religious observance - and in my eyes, that is the way it should be and it is only being accomplished because of MY's efforts today.

Please look over the attached articles for some interesting views of veteran Likudnikim, who are not MY members.

Let me know if that debate takes place between Moti Karpel and Rabbi Finkelman, I would love to attend as well.


A non-MY Likudnik writing about MY:

An article articulating the values of the Likud, that have been squashed over the last few years, that are exactly those promoted by MY:

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