Try this on. Received it via email. It's in two parts:
A number of people who were not able to hear Bennie Begin in Sheinfeld this past Wed. night asked me to summarize what he said.
Bennie Begin is a much different speaker than his father, Z”L. He is not a spectacular orator. Rather, his presentation was more like that of a scientist delivering a paper at a conference. Indeed, before returning to the Likud and politics, Begin was the Director of the Geological Survey of Israel.
Begin presented a series of ten assumptions, starting with those made by Sharon, Livni and Olmert in the period leading up to the “Disengagement” and continuing through today by the Olmert-Livni-Barak team. Every one of these assumptions, Begin showed, has been proven wrong. Begin noted that the odds of getting ten straight assumptions wrong, assuming a 50-50 chance each time, are over a 1000 to 1. Begin estimated that the odds of getting ten assumptions wrong when there’s an intellectual thought process taking place before each assumption is made is probably around one million to 1. Rational, thoughtful people, Begin continued, whatever their good intentions might have been, who see that every assumption they have made has proven to be wrong with disastrous consequences, would realize that it’s not just a fluke and would change their approach. But not Livni and Barak. They continue with the exact same thought process, making the same mistakes over and over again.
Re Bibi, while he can’t issue any guarantees, he has trust and confidence in him and in the key members of the party, people like Ruby Rivlin and Boogy Yaalon. When asked how we can be sure Bibi won’t disappoint, brought in the Talmudic concept of a 'surety' and a 'perhaps'. The only real race is between Livni and Bibi. There’s a surety that Livni will do disastrous things if given the leadership of the country. We know that because she’s already announced it. He referenced her recent interview on 60 Minutes when she told Bob Simon that for the good of the country she would have to move tens of thousands of people from their homes. Bibi has spoken in opposite language. Is it guaranteed that he won’t ever do things differently? No, said Begin, there are no guarantees in life, but he is confident in Bibi and the Likud leadership. That is why he came back to politics and the Likud Party.
Some personal observations.
1. Many people in the so-called “right wing” camp retain much animosity for Netanyahu. I think a lot of it is unwarranted and misdirected. While I could talk about each of the issues that engender such negative feelings, let me just suggest that we all remember that Mashiach is not running for Prime Minister, nor, of course, have we ever had Mashiach as our leader.
2. We’re constantly complaining – where is the politician that will place the welfare of the country ahead of their own self-interests? Well with all his warts, that’s something Binyamin Netanyahu did. When he became finance minister in 2003, desperate and painful measures were required in order to save the economy. Netanyahu knowingly committed virtual political suicide in order to do just that.
3. The contrast in leadership and in a vision for the country at one of the most critical points in our history is gaping. Remember this contest is not between Bibi and Ketzeleh. It is a contest between Netanyahu, Livni and Barak. It is a choice between the continued דשדוש , missed opportunities and contentment with mediocrity represented by Livni and Barak and someone with a deep appreciation of our treasured past and a soaring vision for our future and for excellence. It is a choice between Livni and the Haim Ramons of Kadima who have a vision of Israel as just another European country, who believe time is against us and that our future is dependent upon the creation of another Arab state and people Bibi, Begin and Boogie Yaalon, who believe that we shape our own destiny, that we can make Israel a country that will truly be an אור לגויים and a magnet for Jews all around the word, including Jews from the West who will make Aliyah by choice in huge numbers.
4.Nor is this a contest between the Likud and Ichud Leumi or Habayit Hayehudi. The contest for leadership of the country is between Likud, Labor and Kadima. That’s where it’s at. Let’s look at the candidates of the 3 major parties. The no. 4 spot – Likud - Ruby Rivlin. Kadima - Tzachi Hanegbi. Labor –. Avishai Braverman; No. 5 spot – Likud – Benny Begin. Kadima - Roni Bar-On; Labor - Sheli Yachimovitz . No. 8 spot – Likud - Boogie Yaalon; Kadima- Ruchama Avraham; Labor - Biyamin Ben Eliezer. No . 9 spot – Likud – Yuval Shteinitz, Labor Yuli Tamir. No 10 – Likud – Leah Ness – Labor Amir Peretz. Last example – No. 15 - Likud – Gen. (Ret.) Yossi Peled; Labor – Ralab Madjale – who announced that he doesn’t sing the Hatikva and who boycotted the cabinet meeting where the government voted, after 8 years, to respond to the bombing of our southern cities.
5. If you agree with Labor and Kadima and with Meretz that because we have a demographic problem we should withdraw from parts of Jerusalem – even control of Har Habayit - then it makes perfect sense to vote for Lieberman. What’s more, Leiberman is so tough, he will also throw in parts of the Galil for the same price so that, if he has his way, we can come to the end of Highway 6 and be looking at signs for the Palestinian authority. And remember, the same way some parties can be bought for money, Lieberman has shown that he can be bought by Livni with a fancy ministry –It was Lieberman who prolonged the disastrous Olmert-Livni-Barak government by 2 years in exchange for Minister of Strategic Threats. He really stuck it to Iran in that time.
6. For those contemplating voting for Shas, remember that Shas did not oppose Oslo I. They were instructed by Rav Ovadya Yosef to abstain. Indeed, it was Shas’s very presence in the Rabin government that allowed Oslo to go forward in the first place. Rav Yosef similarly instructed the Shas MKs to oppose the call for a national referendum on the Disengagement. The main reason Shas didn’t support the “disengagement” is because they were not invited by Sharon into his government.
On the other hand, they were in Olmert’s government and stayed in it even as Olmert offered Abbas nearly all of Yehuda and Shomron, including East Jerusalem, and parts of pre-1967 Israel as compensation for the few percent of Yehuda and Shomron that Israel would keep. And if there was any doubt, Ariel Attias, one of Shas’s leading MKs, said last week that Shas would not rule out supporting future withdrawals from Yehuda and Shomron. So if you favor that and you like everything else that Shas stands for, Shas would be a good vote.
7. While it is important that Ichud Leumi and Habayit Hayehudi cross the electoral threshold, it will do us no good if Ichud Leumi and Habayit Hayehudi do great, but the country is led by Zipi Livni or a Livni-Barak-Lieberman combination. In the critical battle for the leadership of the country, there is only one real alternative. But for those who, come what may, are voting Ichud Leumi and Habayit Hayehud, my suggestion is that sometime before Tuesday, you call a family meeting – many of us now have kids of voting age so we have 3 and 4 votes per family – and agree to allocate your family votes in such a way that at least some go to the Likud.
8. Finally, two comments on Ichud Leumi vs. Habayit Hayehudi:
(i) If the polls are accurate, Habayit Hayehudi might need more help right now than Ichud Leumi. (ii) Ironically, Ichud Leumi is probably better off getting three seats than four. I would bet in their heart of heats, some of the Ichud Leumi’s top leadership may even be hoping for only 3 seats and that Dr. Michael ben Ari, the no. 4 guy on the list who is Baruch Marzel and Rabbi Wolpe’s guy, does not get in. Like it or not, Kach and Baruch Marzel are dismissed as, at best, irrelevant by most of Israel. T be more precise, they are seen as beyond the pale. Rabbi Wolpe also is viewed less than positively by most in the Dati Leumi camp. Ketzele, Uri Ariel and Arye Eldad can be a very positive force and if Bibi is able to form the government, he’ll have no problem integrating them into the coalition. However, a 4th seat provides the left with a ready-made opportunity to delegitimize Ketzele and the entire party and complicates Bibi’s ability to bring the National Union into the coalition.
And here, in Hebrew, you are informed that Rabbi Aviner permits voting despite if one is sitting shiva for a close relative.