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Why I will never vote Likud again
I used to be a Likud voter. I wanted to support a mainstream party that had a sensible position on matters of national security. After growing frustrated with Bibi's unbelievable egoism, and the submarine affair, and his putting his own interests ahead of the country's interests, and paralyzing the country with endless elections, I voted for Bennett instead. But even if Bibi leaves the Likud, I don't think I will ever going to vote for them again - and nor for the other right-wing and religious parties that have supported them over the last year.
The Bibi Bloc, consisting of Likud, Smotrich's party and the charedim, proclaimed from the outset that the Bennett-Lapid government is a "dangerous Leftist government which will harm Israel." They declared that their single overriding goal to bring down the government. And because they defined "bringing down the government" rather than "protecting Israel's interests" as the goal, this became a way to rationalize causing all kinds of harm: "the ends justify the means."
First, they voted against the Citizenship Law - the very law that Likud itself originally instituted for reasons of national security. They gleefully joined forces with the Arab Joint List to actively enable countless thousands of Palestinians to obtain Israeli citizenship (some of whom likely do so in order to make it easier to carry out terrorist attacks). For the sake of the goal of weakening a government that is harmful to national security, they sought to harm national security.
Then there was the rape law. When, God forbid, a woman is assaulted, any DNA from the attacker is held as evidence for three months, after which it is disposed of. The government proposed a bill to ensure that all samples would be stored permanently. This is particularly important because sometimes it can take a while for victims to summon the courage to come forwards. Such a bill is of obvious importance, and has absolutely no downside whatsoever. And yet it was voted against by all 51 members of the Bibi bloc.
There wasn't even any attempt to claim that there was any innate reason to vote against the bill. It was simply done because of a policy of opposing whatever the government proposes. In an interview, Likud MK Miki Zohar said “It is a pity that I had to oppose, it is a very important thing. But there is something more important than anything – that the State of Israel be led by people fit to do so.”
Then, this past month, there was the bill proposed by the government to help those who sacrifice the best years of their lives to serve the country by giving them stipends to cover two-thirds of the cost of higher education. Of course, the Arab Joint List opposed this, but they were joined by the Likud! Once again, the Likud rated opposing the government as being more important than helping those that need and deserve it. (After enormous backlash from the public, and Gantz offering them a ladder down from their tree, Likud and their partners eventually agreed not to oppose the bill, merely walking out when it was submitted.)
In a leaked recording from a closed-door Likud meeting, Miri Regev was heard saying as follows:
“We decided as a party that we’re going to be a fighting opposition and that we want to bring down this government. So there is no queasiness [when voting against] the disabled, and there is no queasiness with cases of rape, and no queasiness with battered women, and no queasiness with soldiers, because we all understand that this is the rationale.”
When the recording was leaked and uproar ensured, Regev didn't even apologize or try to walk back her comments. She felt no shame whatsoever.
It is a tragic, insane situation. This government has been in power for a year, and they haven't done anything anywhere near as harmful to right-wing interests as Bibi and the Likud have done over the years. It was the Likud (including Bibi) who voted for the disengagement from Gaza! Meanwhile, 51 MKs representing right-wing and religious communities seek to act against national security, against protecting women from rapists, against helping IDF veterans, all because it's allegedly more important to save Israel from a "dangerous" leftist leadership! Is there no point at which it becomes apparent that the opposition are themselves the ones inflicting the actual harm, in their lust for reclaiming power?
It's clear that the Likud's top priority is not Israel. Rather, it's the Likud. That is why I can't see myself ever voting for them again. And nor for Smotrich or any of their enablers. I agree with Likud MK Miki Zohar: "there is something more important than anything – that the State of Israel be led by people fit to do so."
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