For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
There is no doubt about it. 5769 was a special year for Manhigut Yehudit. There is practically not one Israeli who was not exposed to our movement this year. But in truth, we need a wider perspective – perhaps a perspective of a decade – to understand the processes that we had the merit to set in motion.
Ten years ago, the dream of faith-based leadership for the State of Israel did not exist. The political leaders of the faith-based public were basically sectorial lobbyists. One of our main declared goals was to change the old guard and to integrate the faith-based public into Israel's leadership. Today, even those people who still do not connect to all of our ideas are beginning to understand that they must act within the national leadership arena and leave the sectorial field.
In the beginning, we encountered serious opposition. But today, ten years later, all the heads of the large local councils in Judea and Samaria are Likud members. A large cross section of the faith-based public is actively involved in the Likud.
We must remember that this fundamental achievement – the change of direction in the mentality of the faith-based public – is only a fringe benefit and a signal that we are on the right path in our progress toward our basic goal – that was, and remains, leadership of the Likud and the State of Israel.
In the primaries that were held at the beginning of this year and also in various events that took place at the end of this year we have witnessed Netanyahu's bizarre battle against the faith-based alternative. This battle has no political logic. It is a losing proposition for the Likud. But what we are experiencing is much more than politics. In actuality, this is the stubborn, rearguard war of Israel's ruling elite. Netanyahu is simply a tool in the hands of this elite, which is battling to stop the changing of the guard that is evolving in Israel's leadership arena – the Likud.
At the beginning of the year, we were just a hairsbreadth away from completing the political faith-based revolution. When I was elected to the Knesset despite all of Netanyahu's efforts – a wave of enthusiasm swept the general public. It was clear that the faith-based public would be registering en masse for the Likud and the faith-based revolution would become an accomplished fact.
If that scenario had played out, nobody would be talking about a Palestinian state today. All the Likud MKs and ministers would have lined up behind the dominant force in our party and with the Likud constitution and values. Even more important, my victory in the next elections for the head of Likud would have practically been in my pocket and would have already changed Israel's direction.
But G-d had different plans. Netanyahu was willing to lose approximately ten Knesset mandates and to lose to Kadimah just to stop this process. He used the Supreme Court to prevent me from claiming my Knesset seat, discouraged the faith-based public and delayed its entrance into the leadership arena. Many returned to their sectorial mentality and voting habits. Lieberman benefited most from the lack of a serious political alternative; the National Union was revived and even the NRP in its new form managed to get some Knesset seats.
Why should we continue to play this game?
We well understand that the Left was never truly democratic. After all, they are an avant garde , born on the lap of the Bolshevik revolution. We clearly understand that even when we will win the elections by a large majority, with G-d's help – nobody will roll out the red carpet for us. But no regime – no matter how despotic – can stand for any length of time when it loses its public legitimacy. With all due respect to the Israel ruling club, the Soviet regime was even stronger. But it also collapsed at once when the hearts of the nation were no longer with it and turned to others.
Our active involvement in the political arena builds public awareness. It is this change in awareness that will bring the revolution. Not the decisions handed down by this judge or the other, not the declarations of one corrupt election official or another. The true sovereign is always the nation. Wherever its dreams are is where the ruling power will ultimately be, as well.
Every drop of energy that we invest today in developing Manhigut Yehudit – even when we do not reap the immediate rewards in the Knesset – ensures that as the moment of truth draws near, Israelis will have a faith-based alternative to which to turn.
We had a small taste of the turn to the Jewish alternative in this year's Likud Knesset list primaries. What we learned is that the Israeli public is ready and waiting. We learned that all the separation fences and character assassination that the Israeli ruling club erects between the nation and us collapse when the time comes. As soon as the possibility of truly reaching out to the public is created, a natural connection to our ideas forms.
If somebody thought that now, when Netanyahu is in power and we are no longer constantly in the media eye, that Manhigut Yehudit has finished its role, the Manhigut Yehudit meeting with Minister Ya'alon at the end of the summer reminded us of the Archimedean point – the strategic outpost that we have conquered on the path to Israel's redemption. We learned that even in seemingly quiet times, the old guard is not afraid of Lieberman, not of Ketzaleh, not of Hershkowitz, not of Marzel and not of Deri. It is afraid of the faith based alternative that is slowly but surely growing within the Likud – by means of Manhigut Yehudit.
So now what do we do?
First of all, we must give thanks and praise to the Master of the Universe and also to you, our many members and activists. We are grateful to have had the merit to lead the most important process of these times – the establishment of faith-based Jewish leadership for Israel.
We are at the gateway to a new year and as we know from our experience – it is not going to be boring… The old guard will obviously continue to fight against us with all its might. But the experience of the past generation has shown that all the prime ministers who attempted to prevent the return of Israel to all parts of its land, to separate the Nation of Israel from the Land of Israel - soon lost their power. Sooner or later there will once again be elections for head of the Likud, that will likely determine who will lead Israel in the near future.
As I have promised in the past, as long as G-d affords me the possibility to do so, I will continue to run for the leadership of the national movement - to guarantee that the changing of the Israeli leadership guard will not stop.
Our time is running out. Next time, we must win. Without believing Jewish leadership, the State of Israel collapses. The price of that eventuality is too heavy for us to pay. Our victory depends mostly on us. Each and every one of us must join the team and convince friends and more and more Jews who will be loyal to the Likud to register for the party. This is critical to our success.
I have two requests from you on this Rosh Hashanah eve:
The first request is that by Sukkot, you will have sent at least five new Likud registration forms in to our offices. We all have friends, children who have recently turned 18 who have not yet registered, relatives, hitchhikers who we take in our cars. In short, people who, with a bit of good will, we can easily convince to register for the Likud. Believe me, this works and many people are registering today.
And now for the second request. Please include us, the staff and members of Manhigut Yehudit and the important mission that we have taken upon ourselves in your High Holiday prayers. If we do what needs to be done and if we add to that our worthy prayers – we can be sure that our Father in Heaven will answer our prayers and with G-d's help, we will merit in this coming year to establish authentic Jewish leadership and to experience the complete redemption.
In my name and in the name of the entire Manhigut Yehudit staff, I would like to bless you with a good year, a year of health and success in all that you do; a year of naches in all areas of your lives, a year of abundance and prosperity – a year in which all of our good dreams will come true – for the individual and for the entire nation. May this be the year that we merit to see authentic Jewish leadership that will eliminate our enemies, gather all the Jewish exiles to Israel, make the deserts of our Land blossom, build our Temple speedily, the year in which we will merit to perfect the world in the Kingdom of the Almighty.
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"