Election Recap: Something to believe in...
From my insiders vantage point from the NU-NRP campaign, I believe the reason for the disappointing results is very simple:
The NU-NRP (and the Likud) didn't give the People of Israel a reason to believe...
* That by voting for the NU-NRP (or the Likud) they would be voting for a party who had a viable plan to end the Qassam rocket fire against the Jewish State; to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat; and to provide an alternative approach to dealing with Hamas (and the "Palestinians") short of the Kadima proposed continued retreat from our Homeland.
* That by voting for the NU-NRP (or the Likud) they would be voting for a party that cared about solving the many challenges affecting the average "Joe" within Israeli society - particularly the weaker elements; a party that had an economic vision that would both strengthen Israel's economy while protecting those within society who needed a helping hand.
(It matters little that on the NU-NRP list there were the two most active MKs when it came to dealing with social issues in the 16th Knesset - Shaul Yahalom and Gila Finkelstein of the NRP - since no one knew about it - and now both are out on the street).
* That by voting for the NU-NRP (or the Likud) they would be voting for a party that could restore their faith in the political system; a party that could give them the sense that their vote counted and that they were electing honest representatives who actually cared what they thought (and who would work to implement the will of the people).
* That by voting for the NU-NRP (or the Likud) they would be voting for a party that would be able to restore the pride that used to come naturally to a Jew living in the Jewish State in the Land of Israel.
The Jewish / nationalist / religious parties were, however, successful in convincing the People of Israel, through the incessant negative campaigning carried out against their fellow parties on the right, that all of the parties (whether large or small) on the right were lousy options, and that one could place little hope in the ability of any of them to accomplish anything positive in the 17th Knesset.
All that being said, it's not too late to learn our lesson.
It is doubtful that any coalition formed will last a full four year term, and we are going to need every single day of the next 2.5 - 3 years devoted to restoring the faith and pride of the People of Israel and working towards regaining their trust.
Perhaps most importantly, we must invest all of our collective efforts into allowing the People of Israel to truly believe that the future of the Jewish State can be a bright one; that tomorrow can & will be better than today; and that there are still those who believe in and are committed to bringing about the fulfillment of the destiny of the Jewish People in the Land of Israel.
Let's get busy.