For me, Mafdal (aka National Religious Party) died long before its actual demise, this past week. Personally, I stopped voting for Mafdal after the 1999 elections (when we still voted for Knesset and Prime Minister separately). I had several reasons for this step, despite my years of activity in the RZA (where I sat on the ועד המנהל for almost a decade):
1) Mafdal had become a one issue party that reduced all of Judaism to the struggle for Eretz Yisrael, according to one specific line (Merkaz, Merkaz, Merkaz et Eliyahi Inc). This, in my opinion, constituted a distortion of Judaism, Zionism and Common Sense.
2) Mafdal didn't advocate a Modern Orthodoxy with which I could personally identify. In its more bourgeois eras, it was religiously flaccid (as evidenced by the the tragic failure of its key educational institutions to develop any concept as to the deeper meaning of 'Torah ve-Hokhma').
The idea that deep involvement in the world demanded a total, active commitment to Torah, as well, just never appears to have occurred to anyone.
In its post 1967 form, it increasingly sold out to the phenomenon known as 'Hardal' (i.e. Haredi-Leumi) Judaism. I learned this up close at an emergency gathering of the now-defunct Shacharit group, in May, 1998 (in the wake of the 'Pa'amonei ha-Yovel' scandal.) There, then Education minister, Yitzhak Levy, tried to explain why culture was dangerous and had to be reined in. Prima facie, it's not an objectionable statement. The problem was that it was clrear that neither he, nor anyone else in his cadre, had a clue as to what Western Culture (or any other culture) contained. In a word, in stage one there was a lack of Torah. In stage two, there is no Hokhma.
3) As a direct result of #2, Mafdal decided to become Poalei Agudat Yisrael, with a Soviet of Gedolei Ha-Torah, essentially composed of Reb Avrum Shapira זצ"ל and R. Mordechai Eliyahu שליט"א. Since I'm not an afficianado of Da'as Torah, certainly not on political matters, this was not something to which I could subscribe.
So, about 8 years ago, I joined the Likud. I did so not out of שנאת המן but out of אהבת מרדכי.
1) Ideologically, I had come to deeply respect the ideas and example of Zev Jabotinsky (partly from reading, and partly from having had the luck of becoming friendly with members of his family). It is true that n the early stages of his career, Jabotinsky was anti-religious. In the last decade of his life, though, he became aware of and committed to the positive contribution that Judaism must make to the Jewish People and the (as yet unborn) Jewish State. It was this openness to Judaism that accounts for the large percentage of religious and traditional people in the Etzel and Lehi.
2) Religiously (and politically), and with no connection to Moshe Feiglin, it is critically important that Orthodox and Traditional elements create a significant presence within the larger party framework. Only such a presence will advance the re-judaization of the educational system, the reform of the judiciary and the intensification of the country's qualitative jewishness (as opposed to the essentially racist definition offered by the 'enlightened' Left). My convictions, in this direction, have only become stronger as a result of many conversations with my good friend, Ben Chorin.
3) Personally, I owe a debt of gratitude to Betar. My father in law was an active Betari in Poland (to the chagrin of his father, who was a Trisker Hassid). In 1940, before the German invasion of Russian occupied Poland, Menachem Begin (who was head of Betar in Poland) sent him a postcard in which he told him to take his family and flee to Russia. He listened. He compelled his parents and siblings to go to Soviet Russia. Until the Germans invaded they were kept in a Siberian Labor Camp. After the invasion, they were freed and moved to Tashkent, where he met my mother in law. Meanwhile, the rest of his family was murdered by the Germans. In other words, I owe my family to God's Providence, to my shver's extraordinary courage and strength, and to Menachem Begin and Betar.
The reason I raised this here is two-fold. First, I wanted to briefly comment on the connection between Mafdal's demise and the contemporary crisis of Religious Zionism. Second, I decided that despite my not being a member of the Likud Central Committee ( I leave that to Ben Chorin), I'm going to single out candidates for the Knesset list who I think are promising and deserve support.