Caroline Glick

Israel's election campaign presents an unparalleled challenge to Israelis on both the Right and the Left who care about the issues challenging the country. Today, not only do they have to defend what they believe, they also have to defend their right to believe anything.

Last Friday, Makor Rishon published an in-depth report on the growing isolation and demonization of the religious Zionist camp. Hebrew University sociologist Tamar Elor explained that the front running Kadima Party presents an impossible challenge for the religious Zionist sector, represented most prominently by the settlers in Judea and Samaria.

"The settlers are an ideological sector. Kadima, as a party devoid of an identity, a face, a name or a path, is their polar opposite," she asserted.

While it has made expelling Israelis from their homes in Judea and Samaria its flagship policy, Kadima has no ideology with which religious Zionists can clash. As a result, Elor maintains that religious Zionists "cannot do anything against it. They prefer [former far-Left Meretz party leader] Yossi Sarid the idealist, ten times more than Kadima which lacks any identity."

For his part, Sarid bemoaned the superficiality of the political climate cultivated by Kadima in a column in Haaretz on Friday. Sarid exhorted Israel's intellectuals to make their voices heard arguing, "With men of letters consistently involved, it will be impossible for a reality to emerge where PR men's cannon shells roar out while the muses and their servants are silent and silenced."

Kadima's basic sales strategy is to be a party unfettered by content. Being a party that stands for nothing means that it can stand for anything any voter wishes to believe it stands for. An empty shell can be filled with anything and so can be all things to all people.

LIKUD AND Labor, like the smaller parties across the political spectrum, are at a disadvantage in campaigning against Kadima because they all stand for something. And since Kadima is not bothered by principle, it has based its campaign plan on mocking its rivals for having ideological, political, religious or social essences around which their policies are based.

The fact that Kadima, which seeks to represent itself as a party of grown-ups has more in common with Jerry Seinfeld than David Ben-Gurion was made fairly clear in a series of interviews and profiles of its prominent leaders published in the weekend newspapers. Three such articles were published in Ma'ariv.


Caroline Glick

Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.

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