Zelda Harris
Five on the 100 aliyah from UK list!

A time for change?

Its time for change. Let’s help the process.  The election today of  Yitshak Herzog son of Aura and Chaim z’l as President of Israel, is quite remarkable. His background has provided him with wisdom, insight and courage.

Having been closely involved with his late father in an attempt to change the Electoral System in the 70’s and early 80’s, I know that he comes from a warm and caring family. He has had immense experience both in politics and on the International front as Head Of the Jewish Agency.

He understands Israel and the Diaspora Jews too.

Its a time for healing the rift in society. When I worked with his late father Chaim in the late 70’s and early eighties we talked a lot about the rifts in our society. I was extremely concerned of the disparity between the Sephardim and Ashkenazim he said there were other deeper divisions in society and his words came true.

Not long before he died he happened to be at an event which I attended. It was shortly after Rabin was assassinated. He looked quite pale. I said “Are you Ok? he nodded. Then he said “How can anyone feel OK?” The fact that an Israeli Jew could kill his Prime Minister was inconceivable, unacceptable, gross in the extreme, in his eyes.

Chaim Herzog truly loved Israel and its people.

So our new President has a lot to live up to. Chaim gained popularity amongst the masses namely for the way in which he handled news and events during the Six Day War. He kept the people calm.

When the idea was mooted that he was a contender for President, I conducted a little poll in the streets of Netanya where we had our office for The Committee of Concerned Citizens, of which he was President. As soon as I said his name, faces lit up. For the masses, he was a very special person.

Times have changed we live in an atmosphere of mistrust and loss of faith.

As President, Yitshak Herzog…Bougie, has to give us confidence that as peoples of different faiths and customs but living on one land, we have to pull together. To find mutual respect and aims of trust and goodwill.

All of us need that now.

A time for positive change.

Think of this too when Election Day finally is announced. May God Bless everyone on this land.

May the day come when we can also find peace and understanding with those with whom we have borders.

About the Author
Zelda Harris first came to Israel 1949, aged 18. After living through the hardships of the nascent state, she returned to England in 1966. She was a founding member of the Women's Campaign for Soviet Jewry. In 1978, she returned with her family to Israel and has been active in various spheres of Israeli Society since. Together with the late Chaim Herzog, she founded CCC for Electoral Reform, was the Director of BIPAC in Israel, and a co-founder of Metuna, the Organisation for Road Safety, which received the Speaker of Knesset Quality of Life Award for saving lives on the roads and prevention of serious injury. She is now a peace activist, blogger for Times of Israel and is writing her life story.
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