December 5, 2014
Oh, don’t ask me. This is the umpteenth time in modern Israel history there will be elections (March 17, 2015), an average of about 1 every 2 years, and they usually end up in stalemate.
This time, it seems more ridiculous than before, with personal feelings (between Netanyahu and his 2 main opponents, Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni) ruling the waves. One stupid argument from Bibi (Netanyahu) is that Finance Minister Lapid’s zero VAT law for first-time house-buyers will cost the country a lot, and yet the taxpayer will spend far more on the elections.
As usual, and it’s one of my main beefs about ‘democracy today’, no party will be given a mandate to do what it promises/hopes to do if elected. The coalition parties will see to that.
Something else I’ve been trying to say for years is that this country as normal as any other, potentially far more normal if only the World would leave it alone for a while.
We have all the usual subjects, social unrest, cost of living crises, immigration issues, 2nd-class citizen complaints (from at least 5 groups), medical care costs, education, army draft, child support, infrastructure (you should see the fantastic construction ongoing for the Tel-Aviv / Jerusalem railway), housing prices…it’s all here. Security and foreign policy do not always get the headlines.
Will Netanyahu survive? Who knows? The election run-up will be as interesting (dirty) as usual. Yesterday’s friends will become today’s enemies, but with just a little love in reserve in case they become tomorrow’s partners.
Some of the religious bloc will be expecting to get back into the government, subject to receiving their specific demands. And the ultra-Zionists will want to grab more of what is rightfully theirs, but politically very unpopular, and totally opposed by the international community.
No, elections are not good for us.
So let’s show you a little more of this lovely country. We walked through in Jaffa yesterday. Reminder that today’s Tel Aviv municipality is officially called Tel Aviv-Jaffa, the latter being the original city. Tel Aviv only ‘started’ around 1909, when the Jews from Jaffa started their own neighbourhood as the escape from the European pogroms caused so many new immigrants.
Jaffa is going through enormous physical changes; some terrific housing being constructed in the romantic old neighbourhoods. A fair amount of integration, but only ‘real peace’ brings ‘real integration’. In the meantime….
Let’s start with views from the ‘border’ between the two parts of this town, all taken yesterday (December 4) –
You know, it’s what we do with our own little worlds that’s important. Just as it is possible in Sydney, Accra, Paris and Novobirsk, it’s possible to build a good life here, to be happy, to be decent to your neighbours – and get the same back from them. It happens.
Want me to list what’s wrong here? I can do that. Maybe next letter…