The Secret of Zehut's Success
A short time ago, I was a guest co-host on Razi Barkai’s popular morning radio show on Galei Tzahal. Together we interviewed a representative of Former Defense Minister Bogi Ya’alon’s new political party, Oded Ravivi. I assume that Ya’alon tapped Ravivi, who is the mayor of Efrat, for this interview in order to boost his image as a moderate Right politician. After all, there are not many leftist voters anymore.
The interview proceeded more or less as follows:
Me: Mr. Ravivi, please tell us what Mr. Ya’alon is proposing.
Ravivi: He has not proposed anything to me.
Me (laughing): I mean what he is proposing to the Nation of Israel, not to you.
Ravivi: Honest leadership, no infighting, leadership that does not speak in clichés…
Me: But those are clichés! You are representing Ya’alon. Surely you have heard something from him on his economic plan, on education, foreign affairs – is there something you can tell us?
Ravivi: If I only knew, I would tell you…
Me: I have also established a new party. My party presents its proposals over the 312 pages of its platform. Perhaps you can tell me just one idea?
Razi Barkai: OK, we have to stop for the news.
This interview precisely reflected the shallow waters in which Israel’s politics tread. The Zehut party heralds a completely different spirit. Contrary to all the advice of the public relations experts, we do not blur our message. We say everything about everything. And wonder of wonders – more and more diverse sectors of Israeli society are connecting to us – despite the fact that not all of our messages speak to their hearts.
Zehut’s secret is that everyone can find his or her place with us:
The handicapped feel comfortable.
The religious feel comfortable with the secular.
The secular feel comfortable with the religious.
The Right feels comfortable with the Left and the Left with the Right.
The secret that makes this possible is the shared vision. In Zehut, ever
yone feels that they are part of a movement that is greater than the sum of its parts. When you are part of a broad movement that progresses toward a mutual goal, everyone has a place inside. Nobody is a threat to anybody else. On the contrary – everyone understands that we need everybody, that we need the diversity.
It turns out that the secret of unity is not the blurring of identity and the message, but rather, establishing them as the goal.