Thursday, December 18, 2008

Amidror Defends Jewish Home List

Hillel Fendel Amidror Defends Jewish Home List

Yaakov Amidror, head of the Public Council that compiled the Jewish Home’s list of Knesset candidates, says it need not fully satisfy the religious population of Judea/Samaria. He said that it was more important to have a fair balance between Ashkenazim and Sephardim on the list than to strengthen the Land of Israel camp.Speaking with Arutz-7’s Benny Tucker in sometimes biting tones, Amidror responded to criticism that the list is tilted towards the center and the former NRP, at the expense of the more Land of Israel-oriented former National Union party.

“The map of religious-Zionism does not run only between Beit El and Hevron,” Amidror said, “but encompasses much more than that. This is a list that has more residents of Judea and Samaria than from Petach Tikvah, Kfar Saba, Raanana, Netanya, and Haifa combined. It has a representative from Sderot, Hevron, Elkanah…”

“Politically, everyone on the list is from the center and rightward,” Amidror said, referring to the list of the religious-Zionist Jewish Home party.

“But the National Union was a bigger party than the NRP,” Tucker insisted, “and yet there are many more representatives of the NRP than the National Union.”

“I don’t know that Alon Davidi [from Sdero is an NRP member,” Amidror responded, “neither is Uri Ariel, and I don’t know the exact politics of Shuli Mualem, and certainly Rabbi Hillel Horowitz of Hevron is not.”

Tucker: “Rabbi Horowitz is in position #10, which is not considered a realistic spot to enter the Knesset.”

“More Important to Have Ethnic Balance”

Amidror: “Whether it’s realistic or not is dependent on the voters… But the public that you represent apparently knows all their politics, where they came from, etc. You are engaged in nitpicking; there is a very large public outside Yesha [Judea and Sama that must also be represented. I am happy, truly very happy, at the amount of non-Ashkenazim on the list – in my eyes, this is much more important than giving stronger representation to the more right-wing side in the religious public. In this way it is truly balanced – though maybe not the way A-7 sees it or expected.”

Tucker noted that there are not many people at the top of the list that can be expected to fight for the Land of Israel, “such as party chairman Prof. Hershkovitz who never even visited Gush Katif.”

Amidror did not like this question: “I think that to judge people by whether they were in Gush Katif or not is practically a primitive way of judging… You certainly must realize that you represent a very small minority, while this list represents a wide range of opinions in religious-Zionism… True, there is disappointment in Arutz-7, but this very disappointment symbolizes the forward push and bursting-out of religious-Zionism, and not just the narrow viewpoint of those who feel that the only thing that’s important is who visited Gush Katif and who did not.”

Percentage of Yesha Voters

Amidror then released a startling statistic: “Keep in mind that out of the 230,000 votes that the joint NRP/National Union party received last time, only 30,000 came from east of the Green Line [i.e., Yes.”

In fact, however, according to the Knesset website, the NRP/NU received just over 224,000 votes. Of these, 24,574 were from Judea, and 5,882 were from Samaria. However, the party received nearly 26,000 votes in Jerusalem, which has a wide pool of National Union voters. In addition, the Petach Tikvah area – which includes, according to the Knesset site, towns in western Shomron - had 34,519 NRP/NU voters.

“So we’ll have to see what these voters that you claim to represent will do this time,” Amidror continued, “now that our party has a strong right-wing representation.”

Tucker: “Doesn’t it appear logical to you that these voters will now be pushed to Aryeh Eldad or to other parties that appear to be more right-wing than the Jewish Home?”

Amidror: “First of all, nothing appears logical to me; everyone will vote for whomever he wants. I’m telling you what happened in the last elections, when the list was more to your liking. If this small minority wants to push its candidate, then they should vote en-masse and get Rabbi Hillel Horowitz [in place into the Knesset.”

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