Part One: Guidelines
Why a Platform?
“For the platform is too short for a man to stretch himself out…” (Isaiah 28:20)
Zehut has chosen to be one of the few parties that offer the public an organized platform. Because this practice is not widespread, we need to clarify what this platform will deal with and what it will not.
This document is the complete platform of Zehut, including the practical mission statement of the party in all areas of life that are relevant to political action. On the one hand, the platform does not constitute a detailed work plan on every issue, because that would require a thick volume. On the other hand, the platform is not an abstract ideological manifesto, but rather focuses on the changes needed, in the view of Zehut, in the areas it covers. In addition, the platform refers to reality as it exists now, and to changes that can be implemented in a reasonable period of one term of office, and not programs that clearly exceed that.
A Platform for a Ruling Party
This platform was written from the premise that the purpose of the Zehut party is to strive to be the ruling party in Israel. Do not assume that a small party, whose influence, at the most, is to “tip the scales,” can implement programs such as those offered in the platform. The plans outlined here are a strategic array of changes that will require a large and stable political force in order to implement them.
It is true that even a stable ruling party with clear strength in the Knesset cannot advance all of its programs at will. It, too, is subject to complex and limiting interactions with other parties in the coalition as well as other parties, but this does not exempt those who take on the responsibility of leadership from the obligation to present a complete and coherent grasp of objectives, with action plans to realize them.
Policy derived from principles, with a view towards realizing objectives
There is a root common to all programs presented in the seven parts of the platform below. Zehut’s programs are not an independent collection of ideas and suggestions, but an expression of the basic guidelines underlying the policies in every field.
Policy is the method of action chosen in order to realize objectives according to principles.
The supreme principles of liberty, identity, and purpose, together with the party’s supreme objectives, are the two poles between which the platform exists.
The purpose of the platform is to connect them through a comprehensive and coherent policy from which the various programs will be derived.
The emergence of ideas and solutions presented in this platform are not driven by the desire to survive in a political sense, but rather the opposite: the desire to realize the ideas contained in the platform and to thereby improve the lives of Israelis is what requires us to be concerned about the political existence of Zehut. Zehut is a party that exists in order to fulfill the ideas that existed before its establishment. These ideas are formulated in the whole of the platform, but their structure will be highlighted for the reader, in the form of policy guidelines.
Liberty, Identity, and Purpose
Liberty, identity, and purpose all depend on one another.
Liberty is the space that allows choice, which is the essence of man.
Free will is a gift from God to man, differentiating him from the level of the beast, and allowing him to express his individuality in the framework of a life of aspirations and values. Human liberty is a central and fundamental part of the message of the People of Israel to the entire world.
The People of Israel have not only the right to choose – they have the duty to choose, which is expressed in the command to “choose life.” To choose blessing and life out of free will, without coercion – this is the foundation of Jewish identity.
Identity is the answer to the question “Who?” – Who I am? Who are you? Who are we?
Our national identity is based on being sons and daughters of the historic People of Israel, the People of God, the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – a nation that was established at the Exodus from slavery in Egypt to herald the message of freedom to humanity for all generations, throughout the ages, forever.
This identity – while unique, personal and not dependent on others, points to brotherhood among all nations, and invites all the families of the earth into a true partnership by raising all of humanity up to perfection.
Purpose is the answer to the question “For what?” in that it points to an idea and value greater than the individual human life.
The meaning of our return as a sovereign nation to the Land of Israel is the ability to bequeath to the world the message of freedom for all of humanity. That message is the struggle to remove those factors that subjugate the free spirit of man until the perfection of the world in the Kingdom of the Almighty. This will be accomplished by raising humanity up to a personal encounter with the Creator, in the House of G-d on Mount Moriah.
“And I will bring them to My holy mountain and cause them to rejoice in My house of prayer ... that My house may be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
Today, the State of Israel is running away from engagement with the question of meaning and purpose, and is therefore not able to set itself a clear vision with a compelling program. But this has a price – “In the absence of vision, the people perish.” Without meaning that lights our way, the freedom to aspire to a life of reason is lost, and then we go back to stagnating, occupied only with needs of personal and national survival. Without liberty – the essence of our identity is lost, and its loss is the root of the despair, the frustration, the sense of crisis and loss of direction that plague Israel. To all this – we propose a solution.
Zehut is a Jewish Israeli political party that advocates freedom, and strives to improve society and the world through loyalty to the G-d of Israel. The party will act to lead the State of Israel as a Jewish State, and will strive to achieve the following objectives:
A Jewish State – A state that seeks the realization of the Jewish identity and mission and the ingathering of the People of Israel. A state that moves from a Zionism of existence to a Zionism of purpose – from a mindset of survival to a mindset and challenge of perfecting the world.
A State of Liberty – A state that returns the maximum liberty and responsibility to the citizen in all areas and minimizes its involvement in the life of the individual. State interference will be limited as much as possible to Courts, Security and National Infrastructure.
A State of the Family and the Community – A state that fortifies family values and encourages the building of communities as the building blocks of society.
A State of Abundance – A state that maintains a free economy within the restrained and delicate framework of the culture of kindness and mutual responsibility of the People of Israel.
A Sovereign State – A state that realizes and fortifies its sovereignty over all parts of the Land of Israel under its control, chief among them being Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. A state that develops Jerusalem as a political and spiritual center for the People of Israel and humanity.
A State of Peace – A state that seeks to end the state of war and bloodshed through victory over its enemies. A state that acts for the good of humanity and the world.
Caution and responsibility in implementation
The plans in the platform stem from new thinking in Israel’s political landscape. They are ambitious, wide-ranging and include major changes in many areas of life and a variety of government systems. Zehut believes that the implementation of these programs fully and as a whole is necessary for the State of Israel in order to make it a much better place, as it must and should be, but in the view of Zehut, the state is not a “human laboratory for social experimentation,” as is customary in revolutionary Marxist approaches.
The fundamental position of Zehut is to implement programs and changes carefully and responsibly in consultation with experts in all relevant areas, with the highest priority being to prevent any undue negative impact on the entire population or any part of it.
Government intervention in civil areas
Zehut is opposed to attempts to harness the power of the state to impose values, viewpoints and lifestyle on society and the individuals that comprise it. Taking the power of citizens and granting them to the State is liable to prove a double-edged sword. Once the power is given to the state, it can be used against anyone it chooses – even against those who gave it the power to begin with. For the most part, a government will use this power to fortify its own position. History teaches us that this often leads to disaster. Even if the intentions of the state are good, it often lacks the knowledge, the ability, and the system of incentives needed to properly understand the reality and the possible consequences of state intervention and to set policy accordingly.
The attempt of any group in society to impose their views through the state turns good faith disagreements between various segments of society into power struggles. It encourages hatred and division among the groups that comprise Israeli society and prevents any possibility of dialogue between them. Only when every group trusts that its values and way of life will not be adversely affected will they be open to dialogue with other groups, dialogue that will make it possible to find what they have in common and unify them and to reach mutual understanding, rather than highlighting differences. Only from such dialogue can our shared identity grow and develop. Liberty is necessary not only to maintain the identity and security of the individual, but also to create a common identity of society.
The fundamental position in the range of proposals is reduction of the interference of the state with regard to civil, cultural, economic and social life, and the transfer of responsibility to the individual and to Israeli society.
In the area of sovereignty and law enforcement
No country can avoid interference In the areas of sovereignty and law enforcement. The State must establish the ability to govern and keep citizens safe from the enemy and from crime. This is its first and primary obligation. However, the state must not turn its law enforcement authority into a tool for its own benefit. Beyond the need to ensure that the law is fair, balanced and necessary, it is necessary to ensure that it is enforced equally and is not used by the state as a general license to attack opponents of the regime.
The State’s determined stance on equality before the law and its enforcement, and exercise of sovereignty in any field – is a necessary guarantee for true liberty.
In the economic sphere
Economic freedom and reliance on the free market are tested and proven guarantees of growth and prosperity. Moreover, economic freedom is an integral part of individual rights. Barriers to imports and exports, government monopolies, quotas and tariffs, government ownership of virtually all of the land, building and planning codes, a complicated and intricate tax system, excessive regulations and more – all of these constitute an exaggerated and unjust burden on economic freedom, holding back the current economic boom and preventing the one that can and should be here. The fundamental position of Zehut is to increase economic freedom in the country and reduce government interference. Only true financial freedom will bring about the realization of potential talent, diligence and Israeli entrepreneurship for the benefit of us all.
A Jewish state
Israel should be a Jewish state that reflects the values of the people of Israel, its legacy and its message. It is for this purpose that it was established. The fundamental position of Zehut concerning Judaism and the state is to institute an overall reduction and elimination of all coercion, religious as well as secular, in the lifestyle of the individual, while simultaneously increasing the governmental expression of the state being a Jewish state. In short, this is the opposite of the “status quo”: A state that is more Jewish, while its citizens have greater liberty.
The Land of Israel is the bedrock of our identity
The Land of Israel is not just real estate or sovereign territory, and not even a “homeland” alone. The Land of Israel is part of the People of Israel, and the People Israel is part of it – it is the bedrock of our identity, and our destiny is in it. The right attitude to the Land of Israel starts with clear sovereignty through absolute loyalty, but it does not end there.
Love and loyalty to the Land of Israel requires an approach of responsibility, respect, care and conservation of the landscape, heritage, atmosphere, springs, lakes and rivers, and the natural resources that are increasingly discovered. That love of the Land of Israel requires its settlement, development and building, and not leaving it desolate, for the Land and the People are one, and they are meant for each other.
This approach of love, loyalty, responsibility and sovereignty towards all parts of our country in our hands is a fundamental position in Zehut’s policies.
Faith in the People of Israel
Zehut’s solutions are rooted in belief in the strengths of the People of Israel, their goodness and willingness to take responsibility and be successful in any challenge. Israeli society is capable of solving its problems. The challenges before us today are much smaller than those faced by the country’s founders: We are many, wealthy, educated and armed far more than we have ever been. The greatest challenge we face is to live a life of liberty and to take responsibility for our lives in all areas – at the state level, and especially at the level of society and the individual.
The arguments voiced against increasing freedom of the economy, culture, education, real estate, and generally all liberty is that the public will take advantage of it for ill, will abandon the weak, trample its culture, assimilate, exploit, trample and enslave, and generally “people will swallow each other alive.”
Zehut is of the opinion that these concerns stem from a lack of faith in the people of Israel, its strength, and its goodness, and from a lack of faith in the long hard way traveled by the world, and by the People of Israel in particular. The People of Israel is ready for liberty and awaits it. Increasing the scope of liberty through responsible belief in public preparedness for it is a fundamental position of Zehut.
Community – the guarantee and actualization of Zehut
Zehut’s programs are based on growth and the emergence of strong, independent communities. Communal space is the place where personal and group identity are expressed, thrive and flourish through choice and liberty. Reliance on the power and responsibilities of communities is a fundamental position of Zehut in most areas and sections of the platform.
Universal moral leadership
The State of Israel has a duty and a mission, as a representative of the People of Israel in the world, to act, to initiate and to set an example for all humanity in the areas of morality and justice. This does not refer to the over-privilege of the powerful and established states that use moral arguments to promote their own interests. This refers to an internal recognition of a duty that Zehut feels with respect to Jewish heritage since Abraham – chief among those who fought for universal morality and justice.
Zehut sees the state as morally responsible for its actions and for taking a stand against all wrongs, injustice and crime against any person. This is a fundamental position in our policies.
A believing leadership
The Zehut Party grew out of a recognition formed over decades that it is not possible to repair the seemingly simple and practical problems of the State of Israel without leadership that believes in the G-d of Israel and turns to Him.
This does not in any way mean religious leadership. The intent is leadership with a contemporary moral compass based on the entire history of the People of Israel from its beginnings; leadership whose decisions are directed forward to Eternal Israel, and not merely to the political short term. Israel needs leadership that is aware of the truth and that conducts its policies according to the advice of Ben Gurion: “In Israel, in order to be a realist, you must believe in miracles.” The State of the people who touched eternity, contrary to all the rules of history, the state of the nation that brought the world monotheism, brought the world the Bible, and from whose culture religions and Western culture grew – cannot ignore the fundamental beliefs of its culture.
Zehut believes that a perspective on reality that leaves room for the Master of the Universe “Who crowns kings, but His is the kingdom,” as Judaism recognizes Him and His ways, is seeing the geopolitical reality straightforwardly, relevantly, and correctly. Furthermore, the constant disregard of this is what underlies the continuous and outrageous political failures of the State of Israel for the last fifty years.
Moreover, Zehut understands that all of humanity longs for and expects a new message of peace and liberty to appear from the return of the People of the Bible to its Land and from the development of the renewed culture of the children of the prophets. The basis of the new antisemitism – that which is cloaked in opposition to Zionism and in the erosion of the legitimacy of the existence of the State of Israel, is not based on the wrongs supposedly done to our neighbors. It is based instead on the disappointment from the expectations that nations with a Bible-based culture had for the new Return to Zion. The world did not expect merely to meet an additional democracy on the face of the Earth. It anticipated moral direction from the people who freed human society from pagan slavery, and opened the gate to liberty under the wing of the One and Only Sovereign.
On the basis of this recognition, Zehut strives to lead the State of Israel through belief in the G-d of Israel, Who leads the world with complete goodness, and sees in this belief its advantage, its power, and its connection to reality as it truly is.
 The abstract of the platform is derived from this document, as well as the rest of the party's explanatory material.