Thursday, December 13, 2012

Central Committee meeting

Last week I went to the Bayit Yehudi Central Committee meeting in Modiin. This is my first foray into politics and I was very curious as to what it was all about. The other representative from our village are the head of the local bayit yehudi branch, the local party elder and the head of the PTA of the boys yeshiva high school. This was the first time for all of us aside from the party elder.

The meeting took place at a nice wedding hall and started off with a meet and greet and hors d'oeuvre. No alcohol was served. The party elder was shocked at how nice it was and kept repeating that in the past it was in a high school auditorium with borekas.

During the meet and greet, we spoke with Ayelet Shaked, who is in charge of the campaign in the north. She will be working with the local branches to maximize our effectiveness. We also spoke with Uri Orbach, Avi Vartzman and Jeremy Gimpel. Jeremy is #14 on the list and promised to come up to visit if he gets in.

The meeting part was very interesting, there are over 1000 members of the central committee, so each vote is less then 0.1%. Now that the voting for Knesset list is done by the general membership, the central committee has very little power in terms of voting after the decisions have been made. The goal, if you want to influence, is to get onto committees that help make those decisions that are then voted on by the central committee. The voting is actually a sham. They announce what they are going to do and why and then ask for a raise of hands. They look around the room and say, "it's a majority."

The action happened when we were asked to vote on the merger with the National Union. The NU actually broke up and it is only Tekuma left, not only that, but the former head of Tekuma, Katzeleh, left and joined one of the other parties. So the group we were merging with did not represent the power that the NU has in the Knesset. Never the less, they got very good terms and got 4 of their people in the 1st ten slots. This was explained to us as being unfair and unjust, BUT there has always been GREAT reasons why the merge hasn't happened and we were not willing to disappoint our voters again. The agreement had not been publicized beforehand, so Nissan Slomiansky read the entire agreement and while he was reading made some changes. There was a bit of action as people yelled and screamed. However, in a room with over 1000 voters, there is no practical way to vote down the proposal agreed upon by the leadership and the guy with the microphone. In other words, the central committee is actually a huge rubber stamp for any decisions that have already been made.

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