I urge you to vote for Yamina – here’s why - Opinion

Only a strong Yamina will ensure that the next government acts with determination to assert Israel’s rights, ensure its security, accelerate its economy, and improve quality of life for all.

Yamina leader Ayelet Shaked speaks at a press conference. (photo credit: EHUD AMITON/TPS)
Yamina leader Ayelet Shaked speaks at a press conference.
(photo credit: EHUD AMITON/TPS)
As we approach next week’s elections, the stakes have never been higher. Israel stands at a strategic crossroads, and the future of our homeland will be determined by the policies of the next government.
There are three important factors that make the Yamina Party unique in the political landscape:
1. We are clear and consistent about what we stand for: a strong and secure Israel, a thriving liberal economy, a public sphere that values both Jewish tradition and individual freedom, an education system that encourages excellence, true democracy, and the promotion of successful aliyah.
2. We are driven not by animosity toward any politician, party or sector, but by an unwavering commitment to the future of the State of Israel.
3. We don’t just talk; we do.
YAMINA HAS always been consistent in its principles regarding Israel’s security and sovereignty. We oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state, which would quickly turn into a launching pad for terrorist rockets aimed at every city in Israel. While we support limited Palestinian civil autonomy, any potential solution must be based on ensuring Israel’s security, zero tolerance for all forms of terrorism, and the Jewish people’s legal and historical rights throughout the Land of Israel.
Unfortunately, despite aggressive rhetoric, past defense ministers failed to restore deterrence vis-à-vis these terrorist groups. In only a few short months, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett has begun to restore Israel’s deterrence, by changing the IDF’s response to attacks from Gaza, asserting the rights of Israeli citizens in Judea and Samaria, freezing Palestinian Authority funds being used to pay terrorists, and countering attempts by the United Nations, European Union and radical NGOs to undermine Israel’s national security. A strong Yamina will ensure that the next government continues this new approach.
Immediately after these elections, Israel will face a strategic dilemma. US President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century” presents both great opportunities and great dangers. On the one hand, his plan creates a window of opportunity to apply Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and to Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. On the other, the plan, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has endorsed, envisages the creation of a Palestinian state on the hilltops overlooking Israel’s population centers. Yamina will continue to promote Israeli sovereignty, while opposing all attempts to establish a Palestinian terrorist state.
Just as we are consistent regarding security, we are consistent regarding the need for a liberal and thriving economy. Unfortunately, the economy today still suffers from overregulation, onerous taxation, and monopolies which stifle competition. These factors have increased the cost of living, and created an unreasonable burden on the private sector, entrepreneurs and the self-employed.
Yamina is the only party that proudly represents the private sector, small businesses, and entrepreneurs. We come from the private sector and know that initiative and hard work should be rewarded, not penalized. We will continue to work to reduce regulation and red tape, expand benefits for the self-employed, create a new “regulation-lite” framework for young businesses, streamline the process of obtaining licenses, and decrease both direct and indirect taxation.
While protecting the rights of all workers, we will end the ability of privileged and coercive unions to hold the country hostage. We are the only party willing to take on the entrenched interests of all-powerful unions that regularly disrupt the economy to promote narrow interests.
A successful society begins with education. We will continue the revolution in the education system, which Bennett began as education minister. This revolution included an unprecedented rise in the number of students studying math and science at the highest levels, a decrease in the number of students per class, an increase in the number of teaching assistants, and expanding educational frameworks during school vacations, in order to make life easier for working parents.
This revolution must continue, by rewarding excellence, giving all students, including those with special needs, the tools they need to succeed, and granting parents and school administrators greater autonomy.
Yamina is the one party that truly promotes national unity by bringing together religious, traditional and secular populations. We cherish Jewish tradition and heritage, while supporting individual liberty. We oppose religious coercion, and we oppose secular coercion.
My experience has shown that mutually acceptable solutions to issues of religion and state can be found when good faith and respectful dialogue replace political posturing.
Since the reign of Aharon Barak as chief justice of the Supreme Court, the judicial system had regularly adopted ultra-left-wing positions, and asserted for itself far-ranging powers unheard of in Western legal systems. As justice minister, I took firm action to restore the balance of power between unelected judges and legal advisers, and the democratically elected representatives of Israel’s citizens. By passing the Nation-State Basic Law, we enshrined Israel’s status as the national homeland of the Jewish people. Only Yamina will ensure that these critical judicial reforms continue.
Israel was built on aliyah, and increasing aliyah, particularly from Western countries, is key to our continued growth. We are committed to facilitating successful aliyah by easing the process of recognizing licenses and degrees, creating economic opportunities, reducing tax burdens, and supporting educational frameworks for the children of olim. Israel must be the land of opportunity for all members of the Jewish people who wish to make it their home.
We will also continue strengthening the bonds between Israel and Jewish communities around the world, including in our shared fight against antisemitism.
WE ARE all frustrated by the current atmosphere of empty slogans and societal divisions. In Yamina, we believe that political leaders must have the integrity to say what they mean, and do what they say.
Only a strong Yamina will ensure that the next government acts with determination to assert Israel’s rights, ensure its security, accelerate its economy, and improve quality of life for all.
I urge you to vote for Yamina, so that we can continue to build a strong, proud and thriving future for the homeland we all love.

The writer, an MK, is a former justice minister and a leader of the Yamina Party.