Zehut on the Threshold

Guest post by Alexander Elman, candidate for the Zehut primaries, and the head of the Russian speakers division of the Zehut Party.  As the translator, I take all responsibility for any errors.

I decided to write this post after my Facebook friend Avigdor Jardeni wrote the following: “If there’s the slightest change that Zehut will pass the threshold, I’ll vote for them.”  I’ve heard similar expressions often in my discussions with people, and I’ve seen them in posts and responses.  But in the same breath, many of them add, “But Zehut has no chance.”

At the beginning of August, a poll was published by Camille Fuchs at the request of the Zehut Party.  The poll revealed two very interesting points.

  1. Only 29% of the public know that the Zehut Party exists.
  2. Even supporters of Zehut don’t believe we will win, and are afraid to waste their vote on a party that isn’t going to get into the Knesset.

Let’s start with the second piece of information:

According to the poll, when asked the standard question: “Who would you vote for if elections were being held today?”, Zehut receives 2.4 mandates (2% of the votes), and doesn’t pass the threshold.  But!  When they asked the same question, and added as a given that Zehut would pass the threshold, the result was entirely different: Zehut received 6.3 mandates (5.25% of the votes), well over the threshold.

What can we learn from this information?

That 3.25% of voters want to vote for Zehut, but won’t, because they don’t believe it will succeed.  3.25%.  That is the threshold!

Those voters who are “sitting on the fence” are enough all by themselves to put Zehut into the Knesset.   And let’s not forget about those who have already decided to vote for Zehut in any case.

I call on all those who are “sitting on the fence” and waiting for someone else to ensure that Zehut enters the Knesset:

Get off the fence!  “Someone else”?  That’s you!  Announce your support for Zehut publicly!  Then we won’t have to worry about the threshold.

Is that the potential of the party according to this poll?  In order to answer this question, let’s talk about the first piece of information.

Only 29% of those asked knew of the existence of the Zehut Party.  That means that 71% of them heard about Zehut for the first time from the poll.  They don’t know what the Zehut Party is proposing.  They don’t know its positions on all the important subjects in national life.  It’s true that 84% of those asked had heard of Moshe Feiglin, Zehut’s chairman, but we all know what kind of image the media has tried to stick him with over the past two decades.  More than once, I’ve mentioned Moshe’s name in discussion with others, and I’ve immediately gotten the reaction, “So you’re extremists!”  And only after explaining our actual positions do these people change their minds, many of them becoming supporters of Zehut themselves.

So let’s go back to those 71% who haven’t heard about the Zehut Party.  They don’t recognize the party.  Most of them only know what they’ve heard about its chairman through the media.  So it’s reasonable to assume that Zehut didn’t receive very many votes from those 71% in the poll, if any at all.

You’re probably asking: “What difference does that make?”

This is a significant piece of information.  Basically, Zehut received 5.25% of the votes of 29% of those polled.  In other words, 18% of those who have heard of the existence of the Zehut Party want to vote for Zehut.  18% is 21 mandates!

This is the true potential hidden behind the numbers.  That’s what we should be aiming for.

So what do we need to do?

First, get off the fence.  Start exposing as many people as you can to the party.  Tell friends, write and share posts on social networks, write Zehut-ist responses.  Pay no attention to the skeptics and the giggles.  In the end, support for the party among those who have been existed to the ideas of Zehut is extremely high.

If we succeed, in a joint effort, to expose 100% of the public to Zehut, not only will we get into the Knesset; we will become a significant force that everyone will have to take into account.

It’s all up to us!

NB: You may wonder why I’m publicizing a post by another candidate for the Zehut primaries when I am running in those primaries myself.  The answer is simple. We have some amazing candidates. If party members prefer other candidates, they should vote for them. We aren’t like certain other parties, where some of their MKs won’t even talk to other MKs in the same party because of the rough competition. We’re all in this together, and if another candidate has something good to say that I think people should see, I’m going to publicize it.

That’s the way we roll in Zehut.

About the Author
Lisa Liel lives in Karmiel with her family. She works as a programmer/developer, reads a lot, watches too much TV, does research in Bronze/Iron Age archaeology of the Middle East, and argues a lot on Facebook.