To the People of Israel,

Four months ago, I very nearly lost my life as the victim of an attempted assassination at the hands of an Islamist terrorist who tried to silence me forever.

What was his justification for shooting me? I am a Jew who publicly -yet peacefully -advocates for non-Muslim prayer rights on the Temple Mount. In his mind this justified taking me away from my family.

Luckily, by the grace of God and through the blessings of modern medicine, I survived and am alive and growing stronger by the day.

Yet, not only did my attacker fail to silence me, but in the wake of my near-murder he only intensified my will and resolve to speak out even more proudly on behalf of my people and country.
While those who know me best know I am anything but, to the outside world I was often mislabled as an extremist. I was therefore compelled to act as an activist on the fringe, fighting to make true peace between all people.

Now, I have received a new lease of life and with your help will be advocating directly in the next Knesset as number thirty-three on the Likud list in the March 17th elections.

Some may be surprised to learn that I had competed for a place on the Likud slate, after hearing me described as an extremist or even militant – particularly by many in the world’s largest international media outlets. However, the truth is that I am simply a man of tolerance and peace who has worked tirelessly to defend our nation.

Those surprised by my committed affiliation with the Likud would have also been shocked when videos surfaced of me praying for peace in Arabic together with Muslims on the Temple Mount. They were shocked because I didn’t fit into the cognitive cubbyhole that they had already placed me in.

Personally, I don’t believe in putting Jews in boxes, or anyone else for that matter. Man was created in the image of God and everyone has the right to liberty, freedom and the pursuit of happiness.

I lobbied and continue to lobby for equal rights for all on the Temple Mount because I believe that it is the key to unite mankind. I believe that our similarities are greater than our differences and that if we could just unlock the secret to comprise on the Temple Mount, then many other larger issues would also fall into place.

I have been active in the Likud party for many years for the same reasons. I have not only chosen to stay in the Likud party after the attack on my life, but gone one further and run for office under their umbrella.
After all, the Likud Party has always been one of inclusion, a home for every type of Israeli irrespective of their background or where they place themselves on the artificial religious-secular divide that society often tried to dictate to us. The Likud was and still is the national movement to better our nation and I firmly believe nothing else comes close.

After all that I have been through, there is one thing that is clear in my mind. We are one nation united in the pursuit of true peace. However, peace will not come by denying the challenges and realities that face us. Only by standing together as a united front will we be able to face challenges like a potential nuclear Iran, ISIS and Al Qaeda on our borders and the crumbling states around us.

The forces of evil tried to put me in a box but they did not succeed. They saw me as a one issue man, but they could not have been more wrong. I was shot because of one issue, one issue that is close to my heart but by no way defines me. The time has come to look back at the long road of Jewish history and understand the big picture. It’s no longer about voting for small one issue parties. It’s no longer the time to vote for the people that will allocate the largest budget to our niche sector. It is a struggle for our very existence.

No party other than the Likud under the leadership of Benjamin Netanyahu is ready to face this challenge. It really is us, or them. So as you approach the ballot box please think of what I have written about above. Think of our past and what we hope to accomplish for our children and country’s future. Do what’s right when you go behind the curtain. Vote for a big party that represents our values, while providing an inclusive home to all Israelis.

God has blessed me with a second chance to serve His people and His nation. I promise not to squander that incredible opportunity and hope I can have your support as I move forward with this historic effort.

With love and hope for a better and more peace-filled future for Israel and the world.

Yehudah