Israel elections: Here's why a vote for Zionist Spirit is a vote for unity - opinion

Yoaz Hendel was the first right-winger to call for Benjamin Netanyahu's resignation due to the criminal allegations against him. He represents modern Orthodoxy as we know it.

 INTERIOR MINISTER Ayelet Shaked and Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel announce their new party, in July.  (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)
INTERIOR MINISTER Ayelet Shaked and Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel announce their new party, in July.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)

I have been following Yoaz Hendel for many years.

I supported him when he decided as the first right-winger to call for the resignation of Netanyahu due to the criminal allegations against him. Hendel called for statesmanlike behavior from the right-wing representatives.

Netanyahu decided at a certain point to take care of himself before taking care of our country, in the process sowing hatred and discord within the Jewish polity. Minister Hendel initiated a new right-wing concept emphasizing that you could espouse rightist political views, and yet oppose Netanyahu and the hatred and discord that he encourages.

This new concept was later adopted by former IDF chief of staff and former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon, as well as by government Ministers Avigdor Liberman, Gideon Sa’ar, Ze’ev Elkin and subsequently Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett, who eventually replaced Netanyahu as Prime Minister.

Hendel represents the modern Orthodox community as we know it.

 Zionist Spirit leader Ayelet Shaked and her partner in the party Yoaz Hendel announce Amitia Porat as third in their party list. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV) Zionist Spirit leader Ayelet Shaked and her partner in the party Yoaz Hendel announce Amitia Porat as third in their party list. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

Through much of its history, religious Zionism acted as a bridge between the various contending currents within Israeli Zionism.

Religious Zionism, unfortunately, can no longer claim its role as a bridging factor. This, as well as the increasing polarization common to other western democracies, has caused serious damage to the social cohesion of our Zionist enterprise.

An ideologically divided Jewish community, both within Israel and abroad, threatens our stability and saps our strength.

How is it possible, as a religious Zionist, to think of voting for the likes of Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, disseminating their hatred-filled messages towards their fellow Jews? These are so-called “religious” politicians who prevent fellow Jews from entering a synagogue, merely because such Jews think differently from them.

In contrast, Hendel and his Spirit of Zionism party, promote a consistent right-wing message, whilst respecting opposing views and beliefs.

I vote through my Jewish heart. What and who will best protect the people and the Land of Israel for years to come?

Only unity will bring stability

After four years of never-ending political chaos, a Zionist party has finally emerged, seeking to find common ground and mutual respect amongst the majority of national Zionists in Israel, including all parties representing the Zionist consensus.

The Spirit of Zionism party is the spirit of change we all need. Only through adoption of the central messages of the Spirit of Zionism, do we give ourselves the opportunity to establish a stable coalition government with a majority large enough to ensure that it will live out its full term.

The writer is an entrepreneur, son of British parents, raised as a religious Zionist, and is a political analyst.