I am both excited by the upcoming elections in Israel, and also very, very not.
The Olah part of me is thrilled. This is what I moved to Israel for. To live in our homeland, to be part of this country, to have a say. As soon as I announced to my family that I was making Aliyah, just over a year ago, the subject of elections came up as my dad and brother (armchair Zionists!!) started arguing politics and trying to tell me who to vote for. And I couldn’t wait for elections so I could use it to get back at them… for what, I’m not sure. I guess just the fact that they get so heated up by it, it’s like they’re asking me to use it to annoy them!
The problem in voting for who would annoy my family the most is that whoever I vote for will annoy someone but make someone else happy. If I vote Sephardi Shas, I would most definitely become my dad’s favourite child. If I voted Bennett, World War 3 could start right in my house. Voting Netanyahu is probably a good choice, but would also be seen as a wasted vote, sooooo predictable. Any of the Leftist parties and I would be disowned.
Of course the real factor in deciding who I would vote for, is knowing who I want to vote for, who I think would be best for this country. It should be a straightforward decision, but actually, my own reaction would pretty much be the same as all the different reactions of my family members:
If I vote Shas, the Sephardi part of me would be like “yeah! Sephardi pride!” Bennett, I might start World War 3 with myself, the religious Zionist side of me battling with the side of me that sometimes thinks it might be nice to be naïve and think that if we just apologise to the Palestinians and do whatever they want then there’ll be peace (I’m joking, I don’t have that side). Netanyahu? Is it always best to go with what you know? Is that safest? Is safe always best? A Leftist party, and I would disown myself.
If you break it down, I think most Israelis would actually agree on the basics of what we want, outside of all the other issues like living costs etc (and those are very important. I cut my own hair this week because I’d rather spend that money on delicious food. And by delicious food I mean that that money can buy approximately 14 of those doughnuts with the magical fillings like Oreo cookies cream. Or it can pay for a driving lesson, but maybe that can wait till after Chanukah).
So I think most Israelis would agree that we want:
- A leader who does not have suicidal tendencies in wanting to give the Palestinians all the land and opportunities they need for the extremists and terrorists among them to continue Hitler’s work for him
- A leader who besides that won’t wind up the Palestinians too much or start a war (start being the operative word)
- A leader who cares about our country and our people
But I am not excited about elections because for one thing, we probably won’t be choosing who we think is best; it will be a process of elimination, deciding who are the worst options, leaving us with no choice, but to go with who seems like the ‘least worst’. The bickering and pettiness is just embarrassing.
And another reason why I’m not excited is because it feels like one of the things that is so important to us as citizens – being able to walk down the street without wondering if the driver of every car is an antisemitic terrorist psychopath – is not actually in our hands, but is dependent on Palestinians’ decisions.
Yes there are things that we do to deter, prevent and deal with terrorism and incitement, but it’s a whole other story actually addressing the damage of a childhood of brainwashing TV shows and miseducation that bring up children to hate Jews and embrace violence before they can even walk.
With all of this, the question to ask is why would anyone even want to be the Prime Minister of Israel? That has got to be one stressful job. Somehow you get voted in, but you are hated by most of the world, and by a huge percentage of your population, even the ones who voted for you. You are held responsible, by all those people who hate you and by the ones who don’t, for everything that happens in this country, whether you are or aren’t responsible for it. In fact, being Prime Minister of Israel, as far as Israelis are concerned you’re pretty much also the Prime Minister of the Palestinians too, held responsible for everything they do as well. And you are not just the leader of what happens to be a complicated country with complicated circumstances – the reason for all of that is precisely because we are Jews and this is our homeland. Why would anyone want to be the leader of such a difficult nation as us Jews??
I would like to think – and maybe I am being overly optimistic here – that maybe the Prime Minister of Israel and the people who are vying to lead this country are doing it because they do, in a way, actually care about this country, our homeland, our heritage, our nation. And hopefully they will remember that.