Don’t vote

If having a prime minister who faces a number of serious criminal charges doesn’t bother you because you think it’s all “fake news” cooked up by the left-wing media, you can relax because polls show that most people agree with you, and that he’ll be re-elected. Don’t vote.

If you think that annexing settlement blocks and individual settlements in the West Bank is a good idea, and will somehow make Israel safer and will not fan the flames of Palestinian hatred, then Prime Minister Netanyahu is your man, and as he’s expected to form the ruling coalition once the votes are counted, he doesn’t really need your support this time. Don’t vote.

If you’re happy with the fact that Israel’s best friends in the world today are Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro, and that far right populists from Hungary’s Viktor Orban to the Netherland’s Geert Wilders are Netanyahu’s cheerleaders, then all is good. These are Israel’s best friends. Don’t vote.

If the human tragedy that is called Gaza, where hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, a majority of them children, suffer unimaginably every single day doesn’t trouble your sleep, you’re not alone. The government agrees with you, and you needn’t trouble yourself on Tuesday. Don’t vote.

If the constant, unrelenting attacks by right-wing politicians on Israel’s civil society, including NGOs, the independent judiciary and the free press are of no concern to you, and you don’t mind the country turning more and more into a version of Erdogan’s Turkey, you can relax as the Likud seems destined for yet another victory. Don’t vote.

If the ongoing, worsening religious coercion, and the bitter divisions between secular and religious Israelis, are fine with you, you need to do nothing this week. Don’t vote.

If the growing racism in Israel, which targets not only the “usual suspects” (Palestinian Arabs) but also migrant workers and especially those who crossed Israel’s borders illegally in search of a better life – if that racism is OK with you, then leave Netanyahu in power and let the Right continue to set the tone for public discourse. Don’t vote.

If the epidemic of violence against women – and the silence by most politicians about it, or even worse, the false words they utter followed by no tangible action – if that’s all well and good with you, leave things as they are. Don’t vote.

If global warming and environmental issues in general cause you no concern, and you share President Trump’s view that it’s all made up, you can rest assured that a government dominated by the Israeli Right shares your view. Don’t vote.

If rising social inequality and a growth in poverty, especially among minorities like Israeli Arabs and ultra-orthodox Jews are unavoidable, or due their own laziness, or something that should be left “to the market” to fix, you’re likely to get a government that agrees with you on Wednesday morning. Don’t vote.

If the occasional rocket landing in Tel Aviv or its suburbs is the price of “managing the conflict” rather than solving it and this is no problem for you, then Israel already has the right governing parties. Don’t vote.

If the danger of all-out war with Hizbollah doesn’t worry you, and you’re happy with a government that hasn’t got a clue what it can do to calm things down on the northern border, and that thinks that an occasional bombing raid on Syria solves anything, then take Tuesday off. Don’t vote.

If Israel’s best friends in the Arab world are the worst authoritarians, including the dictatorial regime in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and if you have no sympathy for the pro-democracy demonstrators in Algeria, Sudan and elsewhere, you already have an Israeli government that shares your view and it’s likely to be re-elected. Don’t vote.

If you think that the nuclear deal with Iran was a bad deal, despite all evidence to the contrary (from the inspectors on the ground who actually know what they are talking about), and you’re happy to run the risk of a nuclear-armed Iran because you think Trump and Netanyahu are somehow right about this, then you can calm down. If, as the polls show, the Israeli Right stays in power after Tuesday, the world will move one step closer to a nuclear Iran. Don’t vote.

If you are happy with a politician who appears in a video sitting together with an Israeli soldier who killed a human being in cold blood, who was unarmed and defenseless, you’ll soon have the government you want. Don’t vote.

If you’re the kind of person who thinks that “fascism” is a kind of joke, and you like candidates who promise to undermine the rule of law, Tuesday night is likely to be a good night for you. Don’t vote.

If social justice, the rule of law, human dignity, peace – if you think those are just words, and they don’t really matter to you, and instead you believe that might makes right, you are likely to wake up on Wednesday morning to the government you want, whether you bothered to vote for it or not. So don’t trouble yourself on Tuesday. Don’t vote.

Stay home. Enjoy the good weather. Go for a walk. Visit your friends and family. Let others do the voting for you.

Everything is under control. The country is in good hands.

Don’t vote.

About the Author
Eric Lee is the founding editor of LabourStart, the news and campaigning website of the international trade union movement. His most recent book is The Experiment: Georgia's Forgotten Revolution 1918-1921 (Zed Books, 2017). He was a member of Kibbutz Ein Dor from 1981-1998.
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