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Letter to a Friend: Likud Corruption by the Numbers

January 12, 2015

I believe that I have found some signs of real corruption within the Likud electoral system, but it should not come as a surprise to you, as you know that Netanyahu is notoriously corrupt. Skip to the paragraphs with numbers if you don’t have time to hear my opinions.

I did not want to write about it, but here’s what I noticed about the numbers for the Likud primaries: Feiglin, who twice in the last eight years got close to 25% of the total vote for the leadership of the party, and who in the party-list primaries consistently placed at about twelfth in the list (before all sorts of crooked adjustments to knock him lower), suddenly received a fraction of those votes in the last primary, despite the fact that even as recently as a few months ago, his campaign to recruit more followers to the Likud had still had success that even Bibi praised. He had tens of thousands of people supporting him.
All of the incumbent MK’s except for Feiglin got between 40,000-20,000 votes, yet Feiglin only got 14,581 votes, 6,256 less than the candidate above him! That’s more than 25% less, and you don’t have to be a statistician to see that that figure must be wrong! The differences between all the other candidates above him don’t come close to that. Further, how in the world did Avi Dichter, the closet leftist who just returned from the treasonous and defunct Kadima party garner so many more votes? Who in the Likud likes him so much? And why did Tzippi Hotovely go down so much in the rankings? She used to place well ahead of both Miri Regev and Gila Gamliel.
The day after the elections, Asara B’Teiveth, was the most anxious fast I have ever endured, because I realized something about how I voted the previous day: the ballots instructed us to check the names of eleven candidates, and ballots with more or less check marks than that number would be invalidated. It was so clear. All it takes is a single ballot checker to take the same black, ball-point pen each voter was made to use behind the partition, and whenever he would open a ballot with Feiglin’s name checked off right there in the middle of the page, he would just add another check mark with a quick flick of his wrist, and invalidate the ballot.
(Would someone really stoop so low? I believe that the answer is a yes. Years ago, Dovbear wanted to explain why the PETA types would do so many questionable things against humans just to save animals. He said that just like us healthy individuals would break many laws to save Jews during the Holocaust or provide support for the Israeli War of Independence, those animal lovers see their crusade to save the innocent in a similar light. Within the Likud, there are some disturbed individuals who think that Feiglin is a mortal threat to the party, and therefore breaking any rule is fair and necessary in order to be rid of him.)
This also explains why Hotovely did so surprisingly bad. Those who vote Feiglin would also tend to vote for her, the woman whose positions and voting patterns most resemble those of Feiglin, and who praised Feiglin for being her hero and inspiration for entering politics. You can find all of this here.
This was all old news two weeks ago, but now there’s this: Israel’s channel 2 reports that in one particular precinct, that of B’er Yehuda, at a synagogue polling place, there were many anomalies: Although the security footage records the counters counting Miri Regev a number of times, the actual votes she got officially were much less. The same is true for right-winger Michael Ratzon, who is appealing the count. He was given no votes at that place, but you can clearly hear that he got quite a few. But most importantly, the total number of ballots counted at that station, 191, should have yielded 2,101 votes, but the vote total was only 1,162 – 936 invalidated votes to be exact. They only had to do that at a hand full of polling stations in order to knock Feiglin out of the race. This is all in the video link.
Some more pertinent and crazy numbers: The Likud party had, according to the papers, 96,000 eligible voters, each with 11 votes, and 55% ended up voting. That means that there were supposed to be (96K*0.55*11) 580,800 total votes cast for the party list, but according to a simple tabulation of the votes per candidate, you see that only 545,645 were cast, meaning that some 35,155 votes or so were not counted, and dividing that by 11 you get a total of 3,196 ballots that were not counted, in my estimation, because they were invalid. 35,155 out of 580,800 is just over 6%, meaning that either Likud voters are so stupid, a full 6% of them can’t count to eleven, or that thousands of people had their ballots invalidated for some other reason.
Feiglin all along said that he was opposed to changing the rules; Bibi insisted on it, and that was also a question placed on the ballot. In Israel, there is no board of elections, and every party does what it pleases, and that means that if the majority, or more often the unelected head of the party, decides on something, then that’s what it gets. The majority not only did  not want Feiglin at the head, not only did they not want him on the list, they did not even want him in the party, and this was their way of just getting rid of him once and for all. And if you read any of the papers from Haaretz to Arutz Sheva the two days after the primaries, Bibi’s people said as much. They tolerate other people just as right-wing as Feiglin, like Yehuda Glick, Zev Elkin, and Danny Danon, but Feiglin came in expressly to jump to the top and not climb the ladder, and that’s what brought him down. Also, unlike the types of American presidents who know when they’ve had their chance and make way for some one new, Netanyahu does not. Never. He wants to be like Ben Gurion and Peres. And everyone who has risen through the Likud and hit that ceiling knows it: Rivlin, Kahlon, Gideon Saar, and now Feiglin. Work your way up, but it will always be Bibi on top. Just look at the new, improved Likud list this time around. Aside from the aforementioned stars who had no more room to move up, it’s the same as last time.
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