Elections 2019 – Part II
Today (some) Israelis went to the polls – for the 2nd time this year, the first being in April. The outcome then was stalemate of the worst type. According to pre-election polls, the stalemate this time could be even worse.
I say ‘some Israelis’. Not only are we not forced to vote (like in Australia), but there is such apathy towards politics in Israel, as in more and more democracies. (Check out the UK). Israel’s population (9.4 million) were given the day off work and free transport. No excuse not to vote.
As you see from my photos, many used this as an excuse for a good time at the beach – but perhaps that was after they voted…
(Israeli employees at embassies, consulates etc. were given the chance to vote. But otherwise, Israelis overseas, for whatever reason, could NOT vote).
I won’t bore you with a listing of the main issues here, and there are so many. But, perhaps to illustrate our predicament, try to imagine this is the UK. The big issue (unsolved since 3 years) is Brexit.
But let’s add some more possible subjects:
– Imminent collapse of the National Health Service
– Wales and Northern Ireland join Scotland in threatening devolution
– Riots in the streets after yet more deaths of coloured immigrants while in police custody
– The Queen abdicates, but forbids Charles from succeeding her
– And a Tsunami damages the Thames Barrier
I have mentioned that there are only 2 English-language dailies in Israel: the Leftist Haaretz, always including a concise edition of the New York Times, and the Rightist Jerusalem Post. I buy the latter. Both Haaretz and the NY Times have some excellent journalists and columnists. But, like the UK’s Guardian, both often fall off the Leftist cliff.
This weekend, the ‘left-leaning’ religious Englishman who runs the local newsagent/everything-small shop told me to check out the front page of the NY Times. It showed an enormous image of and ran a long article on the power of the Ultra-Orthodox. Over 100,00 of them (99% men?) were shown attending a pre-election gathering in Jerusalem.
I spoke to my friend about the need to separate religion from politics. I gave the examples of Spain, Portugal, Poland, Ireland, Italy as countries with western values, respect for religion, but a separation from matters of State. “You don’t understand”, he said. “Israel is a Jewish State, always has been”.
Well, this wording has been under the microscope recently, with the introduction of the badly-managed ’Nation State’ bill. ‘Jewish State’ is, for me, too ‘open to criticism and misconception’, especially by the many who are licking their critical lips.
Call this a ’state for the Jewish People’, where refuge for ALL the Jews is a law, where ALL citizens are given equal rights, but where the Jews, by special definition of ’democracy’, will always be a majority. Yes, it’s a new definition of ‘democracy’, but it’s just one of many. (Check ‘democracy’ as defined by half the UN member countries).
I bought the paper, both papers, and therefore had a pre-election weekend of reading both sides.
Have any of you heard of Gideon Levy? I have written about him once or twice. An extreme Leftist if ever there was one. His article featured 5 Gazan widows. He told their tragic stories. They were interviewed; of course blamed Israel for the deaths of their husbands and families. No hint that maybe war – from both sides – carried most the blame.
I should send him a link to my ’Tunnel to Gaza’ Letter – which became an online book – https://www.ourboox.com/books/tunnel-to-gaza/ – which told the story of my visiting a Gazan who had lost 2 daughters to Israeli bombing. After meeting me, talking to me, the man was not so sure who was to blame…
Now, who DID bomb 50% of Saudi’s oil production? NO….wrong guess. It wasn’t Israel – nor it’s friends in high places – nor its financial influence. I would check out Putin and his friends in Turkey and Iran. Only they gain from such action…
See you tomorrow?
September 17, 2019