Sunday, December 07, 2008

My Final Obiter Choices for the Likud List

The tomorrow. Primaries are December 8th. Ben Chorin has a detailed description of how the process works, and offered his observations on the candidates. In light of the changes in the rules made last week, These twelve look the best to me:

Moshe 'Boogie' Yaalon (National)
Ruby Rivlin (National)
Yuli Edelstein (National)
Miki Eitan (National)
Yuval Shteinitz (National)
Zev Jabotinsky (National)
Moshe Kachlon (National)
Tzippi Hotobali (National)
Gilad Erdan (National)
Leah Ness (National)
Moshe Muskal (National)
Michael Ratzon (National)
Yossi Fuchs (YoSh)

Where our lists overlap, I pretty much agree with Ben Chorin on the reasons. My list adds Zev Jabotinsky and Tzippi Hotobali, and does not include Moshe Feiglin.

I know Zev Jabotinsky personally. Independent of his distinguished lineage, he's a really fine, extremely bright, and highly principled person. He knows how to live with the other side, without compromising his principles. The country will only benefit from having him in the Knesset.

Tzippi Hotobali is a bright, eloquent and committed thinker and writer (Maariv Yahadut). She's a star student of some of the best teachers at Bar Ilan (Law and Political Science). She handles herself extremely well on TV. She knows how to present both a Right wing position and Jewish tradition intelligently. That makes her an avis rara.

I oppose Moshe Feiglin on both substantive and tactical grounds. I defer to Ben Chorin's judgment as to his grasp of the issues. However, I reject his attempt to use subterfuge and questionable tactics to highjack the Likud. While I, along with tens of thousands, share the desire to rejudaize Israel and agree that more religious and traditional people should get active in the larget parties (see Federalist no, 10), that must be done through persuasion and dialogue. I see none of that in Feiglin or in Manhigut Yehudit. Ben Chorin has, himself, outlined the tactical reasons to avoid Manhigut Yehudit.

I would also emphasize, that every effort should be made to keep Dan Meridor as low as possible on the list. He, like Tzippi Livni, has gone totally native. He is a political Leftist, and an ideological supporter of Aharon Barak/Dorit Beinish and Co. Hence, he represents everything that is undemocratic in this country.

Most importantly, every Anglo Likudnik should vote and help set the agenda for the government that Bibi Netanyahu will, אי"ה, form next Spring.


Ben Bayit said...

I will remind everyone that in the 2003 likud primary elections Ehud olmert landed at spot #33. In all honesty it was Manhigut Yehudit's support that got him in at all.

So frankly, when (and it's a when, not an if) Bibi sets out to implement the policies of the left, it really doesn't make a difference how low Meridor ends up on the list.

But your list is nice. Most will be good parliamentarians. If I had to choose a pretty face for the Likud, Hotoboli is certainly preferable to Penina Rosenblum or even Leah Ness. She certainly has more in the noggin than Rosenbloom.

Ben said...

Excellent list. You get one more pick since Yossi Fuchs is your regional pick and doesn't count for your 10.

Anonymous said...

Why do you leave out Moshe Feiglin. Surely he is your insurance policy against Dan Meridor look alikes?

As Ben Bayit correctly notes, it is a question of when and not if Bibi implements the policies of the left.

It seems the PM's office is infected with Sharonitis and the only one with the antidote was Yitzchak Shamir. Bibi is certainly infected and another spell in the chair can only make the condition more acute.

HolyCityPrayer said...

Dear Mr. Obiter,

I am willing to give all Likud candidates the benefit of the doubt. While I will not be voting for Dayan and Meridor and other ostensibly left-flank representatives, I recognize that the Likud is a right-center party, and these people have a place there. It is up to people like you and me to join this democratic party to fight for what we think is right.

I am waiting for the final list of candidates to be published, and perhaps some more research, before I make my recommendations. That being said, I think I can barely agree with 3-5 of your names.

Yaalon might be excellent, but as a right flanker, I have to prop up people further to the right. Boogie will get in without me.

Miki and Yuval are excellent parliamentarians, but they were not clearly "mordim," so they will have to get in without my help (as they proved last election that they are quite able to).

Jabotinsky is a nice name, and you know him personally, but I know too many other names to give him a spot.

IMPORTANT: Ayoub Kara is NOT running on the Minorities slot! He is running for National, with no built-in help to overcome his de-facto handicap. he is my #1 vote, even before Feiglin.

I have barely heard of Tzipi Hotobali, as I don't read where she writes and don't watch where she appears. So her fans will have to get her in. I also wonder if she will be a moredet against Bibi if necessary.

Boaz HaEtzni, running against Yossi Fuchs as a Manhigut Yehudit candidate, is probably better known than Yossi as his father Elyakim is one of the most respected right wingers in Israel, and Boaz is a main activist in Chomesh Techila (if that means something to your readers). I think there's a little mamlachti-noar gvaot rivalry going on here, but Yossi might be more gvaot than I think, so there's even less of a difference.

Gidad Erdan is a good parliamentarian, was a mored, and is a grad of Netiv Meir. He might make my short list, but there are others that I want to support, so he might have to make it in on his own like Miki and Yuval, and I expect he (like Gidon Saar) is eminently capable of doing so.

So, we really only overlap on Ayub, Ruby, and Yuli.

Add Manhigut Yehudit's 4 national candidates (Feiglin, Entova, Sackett, Asulin), Yechiel Leiter who I think embodies most of my values (and is a personal friend), Gila Gamliel (who, like Ayub, cannot benefit from the reserved slot for women and therefore needs support), and it looks like my list is nearly full. Will #10 be one of the incumbent or also-ran mordim? (Yehiel Hazan, Moshe Kahlon, Haim Katz, Leah Ness, Michael Ratzon)? Are David Levy
and Ehud Yatom even running? Will Manhigut Yehudit's reciprocal recommendation list or my Maale Adumim snif move me? And are there any deserving newcomers besides Yechiel who might not win Bibi's newcomer pageant that I want to strengthen?

I think we'll have to wait until the real list of candidates is published.

Meanwhile, all of you non-Likud members out there, join up already!

Ben said...

Cogent remarks as always. But allow me to clarify a few points that could be misunderstood.

1. Nobody runs for a minorities slot or a women's slot. Rather, the highest ranking woman is guaranteed the 10 slot, even if she came in lower than that and the highest ranking minority gets the 21 slot, even if he came in lower than that. Gila Gamliel and Ayoub Kara will benefit from these provisions.

2. Gila Gamliel supported hitnatkut in a critical vote in exchange for which she was appointed Deputy Minister. She does not deserve support. I prefer supporting Eitan and Shteinitz who supported hitnatkut but at least had the integrity to do so out of (wrong-headed) conviction and were not bought off like Gamliel.

3. If Eitan doesn't soundly defeat Meridor, Meridor will be Justice Minister. This would be a total catastrophe.

4. Those who have not been members of Likud for 16 months can't vote in this primary.

Ben Bayit said...

The Justice Minister is a very weak and insignificant minister as far as the Israeli government goes. Knowing ahead of time that Bibi is NOT going to challenege the Aron barak law and order hegemony of the judicial system and prosecution, doesn't it make sense to have Meridor end up as Justice Minister as Eitan as head of the Constitution and Law Committee rather than the reverse - or worse - having Meridor end up in foreign affairs or security issues?

Not that I believe there will be a constitution passed in the next term. I once again predict - as I did regarding the previous 2 knessets (and against BenChorin's opposite prediction) - that no constitution will be passed in the upcoming knesset. But at least with Eitan at the head of the committee the sesions will be serious and will allow for alternative voices to be heard.

Ben said...


You are right that as far as the constitution issue is concerned, the vaada might be evn more important than the ministry. If the cost of Miki getting the ministry is that Meridor gets the vaada, we won't have accomplished much.

But Meridor can do plenty of mischief in either of those positions and Miki can do plenty of good in either.

Ben Waxman said...

I can't vote for anyone who wants to destroy democracy in this country. That includes everyone from the Feiglin crowd. Anyway, besides talking a lot, he hasn't done anything of note. The guy is at best silly.

Since I have a big aversion to generals in government, Boogie is also out for me.

Anonymous said...

Ben (Chorin?)

You might not have gotten a copy of the Takanon of the primaries (I only was zocheh to get one because i ran into Rafi Duek in the parking lot and asked what was it that we voted for, and he gave me a copy).
Here it is:

Clauses 21, 24b, 26b, seem to indicate that anyone who ever was an MK or a minister cannot benefit from the reserved slots.

In practice, anyone who defines themselves for the purpose of running as a new woman, a minority, a youth, or an oleh, is running for the reserved slot, as the chance of them getting more than the number of votes that, say, the 47th highest vote getter, is slim.

The eizor runners are different - they cannot get more votes than the number of voters registered in their eizor (for example: Yesha - about 6900). Since the voting rate will be about 50%, and all races will be close (this is not a prediction, it is a premise for the sake of demonstration), each eizor winner will get about 20% of the votes available - so Yossi or Boaz is likely to win with 1700 votes.

2. I actually rate Gila as a mored minus, as I rate Gidon Saar as a minister minus, but I admit I am unable to remember their defenses of their perceived non-moredness. Maybe Gila's relatively frequent willingness to appear with Feiglin has something to do with my willingness to consider supporting her.
I stand by my decision to let Miki and Yuval take care of themselves, so Gila trumps them on my list.
It looks like your comment to BB means that Dan and Miki will share the vaada or ministry, so it seems to be moot (pardon the expression).

Let me state here - I am not voting for the 10 most impressive candidates imho. I am voting to get the 10 I most want to help get in. I expect to be pretty satisfied with the final Likud list, whatever the outcome.

Ben Waxman,
Maybe you know different MY activists and candidates than I do, but one of the main reasons I still hang out with MY is because they are more democratic than nearly anyone else I know. It seems to me that Ariel Sharon had already destroyed whatever sliver of democracy there was here by doing a 180 on "din netzarim" and trampling the mishal. Since MY stood at the front of these battles, it seems to me they are defenders of democracy.

Boogie might prove to be a gentler, kinder general, but the "let him manage without me" rule applies.

Gidon (blogger is not letting me sign in*^%*^)

Anonymous said...

Yechiel Leiter is the man:
A settler, a Zionist, a thinker.
He's on the top of my list.

Ben Waxman said...


I remember Feiglin's declarations about disenfranchising non-Jewish citizens, especially Arabs. He calls that Jewish democracy and I call it anti-democracy.

That he chooses to use democratic jargon to try and get his way does not in any way make him a supporter of democracy. If he truely was a supporter of democracy he would be marching for the civil rights of people in Wadi Ara.

I think the guy is silly. I don't give him enough credit to consider him dangerous.

YBD said...

I agree with Ben Waxman-we of the Right Wing/Religious part of society can only benefit from a true democratization of Israeli society (look at the power Orthdox Jews have in the US, in particular in New York in spite of the fact that there is no Orthodox religious political party there). This means that we also have to support democracy for Arabs (as long as they obey the law), that we oppose police violence even if it is directed (unjustly, of course) at Haredim, Leftists or Arabs. That means we have Arutz 7 legalized to broadcast, but also a Reform Jewish station or an Islamic station (again, on condition they don't preach violence or hatred of Jews, etc).

jett said...

I am really curious as an outsider (meaning I can't vote) with great interest in what happens in Israel. And I've been looking for someone to ask this question too for awhile ...and I don't mean this against Likud in general, they have some fine people, but I want to ask why, WHY are Likud supporters excited about Bibi when he absolutely was a walking calamity the first time he was PM? Has everyone forgotten his record the first time around (and what happened to Likud as a result)? Maybe Likud would be a better government this time around ..I can't say...but I keep finding myself saying 'but Bibi?'. I'm just curious as to the attraction and ask the question with all respect to your choice. I'm just trying to understand where you're coming from. I would appreciate hearing your view. Thanks!!!

ben said...


i can answer your questions in several ways.

1) do you have anyone better who would do as well in the elections?

2) he did a great job as treasury minister. hopefully he learned a thing or two in that job.

3) i know that a lot of right wingers are hoping to fill the list with as many right wing personalities as possible (the names given by people here, MY people etc). by doing so they hope to keep bibi pinned in.

Shaul Behr said...

My thoughts on whom to support here.

In short, I'm inclined to back the candidates who will most likely display enough backbone to be mored against Netanyahu when he swings Left and tried to steal the Likud votes like Sharon did. Those people are the 4 or 5 (depending where you live) Manhigut Yehudit candidates (Feiglin, Sackett, Entov, Asulin & Kaetzni), Fred Moncharsh (ex-MY), Michael Kleiner, and the crew who've already proved their mettle against Sharon - Edelstein, Kara, Yatom, Erdan, Kachlon and Chazan all have a 100% record of votes against hitnatkut.

I don't know enough to make a "strategic" vote; I'm probably just going to vote my conscience...

YH-O said...

The latest Likud rules will *require* us to vote for two oleh candidates. There appear to be ten candidates running (English spellings are guesses): Aleli Admasu, Zeev Elkin [former Kadima], Assia Entov [MY], Yevgeny Briskin, Vladimir Hertzberg, Yehonatan Mishiyev, Michael Sotovsky, Sandra Rajwan, Vladimir Shaklior, and Shmuel Sackett [MY].

Do you have any idea who any of these people are? The only ones I recognize are either MY people (whom I don't support for much the same reasons as you) and a former Kadima member, which makes him automatically suspect in my eyes.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

YH-O said...

Add Ariel Bulstein to the list. He's a lawyer with the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, which is a good organization (see ).

Ben said...

Actually I have added Hotobeli, so now we only differ in that I have Leiter and Feiglin (I'm still at 13, need to pare one) and you have Jabotinsky. But you've persuaded me that Jabotinsky is a worthy candidate, so I'll make some adjustments.

Shaul Behr said...

Please share - why do you think Jabotinsky is a worthy candidate? I know nothing of him...

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Jeffrey: Thanks for your comments about Jabotinsky (Ive mentioned you specifically).

Gidad Erdan is a good parliamentarian, was a mored, and is a grad of Netiv Meir

Gidon, to be fair, you could mention that while he's a grad of Netiv Meir, he's also datlash.

To the anonymous supporter of Yechiel Leiter: In Makor Rishon, he was quoted that he would destroy 11 yishuvim and expell 5000 more Jews from their homes. If that's an opening negotiating position, I wonder what his final one will be. While Leiter claims to have been quoted of out context (on the IMRA website) I find it odd that he didn't find it important enough to clarify matters for the huge readership of Makor Rishon (unless of course, that really is his view, which I assume it is)

Lastly -- anyone is the Jerusalem district is advised to vote for Fred Moncharsh.

Shaul Behr said...

Pardon my ignoriance - what is datlash?

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Shaul -- no problem :)

Datlash = דתל"ש = Dati L'sheavar.

He no longer publicly adopts a religious lifestyle.

Therefore, by saying, "He's a graduate of Netiv Meir" [as if to tug on your heartstrings that he's a nice, religious, Bnei Akiva king of guy], one should also say that while he was observant once upon a time, he no longer is.

Not that I think his observance is relevant if he's a good politician, representing our views -- but his past of attending Netiv Meir, is not.

Anonymous said...

(if anyone is still reading these pre-election posts - I was busy too getting out the vote till yesterday to read and comment)

Jameel, sorry to appear as a spinner/demagogue. I didnt mean to pull strings - I'm a Netiv Meir grad myself, so it's just local patrioteesm. That's why I continued to support Yehiel, husband of a former madricha of mine in BA and a shabbat host a few times over the decades. (The whole Yehiel debate is a bit moot now).

Datlashim are the closest thing to datiim, and can and should be hugged, not to guilt them or teach them into putting the kippa back on, but to be a bridge to less knowledgeable. From still religious people's perspective, a datlash is a tragedy; from a bird's eye view imho they are a critical piece int he puzzle.