This is a bumper sticker for the National Religious Party (NRP, Mafdal) used during the 1981 Israeli elections. The slogan on the sticker is written in blue and reads: “I am with the crocheted kippah,” but instead of the word “kippah” (yarmulka), there is a picture of a crocheted kippah. There is white letter bet, the ballot symbol for the NRP, on a green background in the bottom-left corner of the sticker. The crocheted kippah is the common head covering for modern Orthodox and national religious men and is often used to symbolise them and the NRP.
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Mafdal, the National Religious Party (NRP) – The NRP was founded in 1956. From its formation until 1967, its main concern was the relationship between religion and state. During this period, the NRP often aligned with Mapai. After the Six-Day War in 1967, the NRP took a more right-wing position, which included advocating for “Greater Israel,” i.e., a Jewish state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and a unified Jerusalem. The NRP disbanded in 2008 and ran in the 2009 elections under the name Habayit Hayehudi (the Jewish Home).
Elections in Israel – Israel is a democratic country, and general elections for the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, take place, according to the law, once every four years. The nationwide elections are based on a multi-party, proportional representation system. The legal voting age in Israel is 18, and all Israeli citizens from sectors may vote and be elected. Using voting slips with the initials of the parties, citizens vote for their preferred party and not for individual candidates. The 120 seats in the Knesset are then assigned proportionally to the parties according to the number of votes received. After the elections, the president of Israel chooses the leader of the largest party or of the party that is most likely to form a viable coalition government. This leader then forms a government, the Knesset gives it a vote of confidence, and the leader then becomes prime minister.
Kippah – A kippa, also known as a yarmulke, is a head covering worn mostly by Orthodox men. There is some debate in Jewish law about the necessity of wearing a kippa at all times or only during prayer; in modern times, most Orthodox men have adopted the stricter view. Different reasons have been given for wearing a kippah: as a way of distinguishing between Jews and non-Jews or of showing one’s affiliation to the observant community among others. The Talmud states: “Cover your head in order that the fear of heaven be upon you.” Some understand this to mean that the kippah symbolises that God is above the person. According to Jewish law, one cannot say a blessing or prayer without a head covering, and therefore it was easier, from a practical perspective, to always wear a kippa. It is also traditional to cover one’s head in religious places such as a synagogue or the Kotel or in ceremonies such as funerals. There are many different types of kippot according to fashions, local traditions, or even religious sub-groups. For example, most Haredi men wear black cloth kippot, while modern Orthodox tend to wear crocheted kippot. Some children wear kippot featuring cartoon figures or names and colours of sports teams. Today, Reform or Conservative women often wear kippot during prayer. In recent years, some religious Jews have refrained from wearing kippot in public for fear of anti-Semitic reactions.
1981 Israeli Elections – The elections for the 10th Knesset were held on June 30, 1981. The campaign was mostly characterised by hostility and even violence between the Likud and Labour supporters. Labour believed that they would succeed in restoring their rule, and, indeed, at the beginning Likud was at a disadvantage due to internal disagreements. However, the campaign quickly shifted in favour of Likud and in opposition to Mapai’s long rule and their government’s attitude toward the immigrants from North Africa. The deteriorating economic situation and rising inflation and disagreements about the Camp David accords signed with Egypt caused almost stalemate results. Although Likud, with one seat more than the Labour Party (named Ma'arach [Alignment] at the time), formed the government, the results highlighted the political polarisation in Israel.