David Weinrich
David Weinrich

Election Fever 2021 (part one)

In genteel leafy Givatayim for my first “hands-on” Israeli voting day- and here I must declare an interest, as a recipient of a huge percentage of the Governments’ Squillion Shekel election budget I firmly believe ours is the best system in the world, apart from all the others, and look forward to reading this piece again (again, Ed?) in a few months time.

Elections in Israel are remarkably simple. As with the meals on EL AL (eat it or leave it) there are two choices. Bibi or not Bibi. So a party of one and a party of everyone else. Where’s the problem. Aha, just 38 choices this time, poor “nebbish” party dropped out at “daka 90” – who knows where he/they got a flight to – leaving a clear choice. Dear reader(s) do you realize we have had the best part of 200 choices since 1948 so 38, ech, not too bad.

As stated there is Bibi. But, not represented by a B (bet) or a Bi (bet yud) nor a Bib (a thing worn by olim babies while they eat) but “mem hey lamed”. OMG, there goes the 50% of the population who cant read past “berashit bera eloim” – see, even the holy scriptures begin with B & B, what greater sign could one want? But out of the confusion the founding fathers made it even more difficult to be not Bibi. Neither Alef, Gimmel, Daled nor Zion clearly indicate the opposition, and “anyone but bibi” obviously doesn’t fit on the 10×7 centimetre voting slips – it was a long day, yes I measured one – so to make it simple, here are the simpletons, I mean choices.

Yair Lapid who this week leads Yesh atid (as opposed to haya avar which might be more apt). He was a TV presenter, now he’s a TV personality, well known, well loved, probably useless then in a crisis. A centreist, just what Israel needs coz we’re always in the centre of everything; edge of the middle east, shore of the Mediterranean, leading the world in Covid vaccinations, last in electrion results…oh, not really in the centre at all then. Next.

Benny Gantz, whoa…wasn’t he in yesh atid? Oh no, that was last time, or the time before, or maybe not. Now he’s Blue & White (and grey all over??) A highly decorated former soldier, but then I have a highly decorated former lounge and it’s unlikely to find itself in the Knesset either.

Naftali “Tony” Bennet, something of a Stranger in Paradise who perhaps Left his Heart in San Francisco and while he is more likely to Fly (me) to the Moon there is a good chance he’ll be Steppin out with his Bibi, Cheek to Cheek.

Avigdor Liberman, crazy name, crazy guy. Didn’t he change it from Merkwuerdiglieberman? He’s been a minister in more cabinets than I’ve had cabinet sauvignons but coming over on the radio like he’s tried a few doesn’t mean he appeals to too large a glass of the population.

Yes there are others but also-rans don’t usually finish and if they couldn’t afford to lose their deposits they wouldn’t run: Elitists, and we already have enough of those. So who will win, Bibi or not-Bibi? Well with 120% of the votes counted there are just three days of counting still to go so it’s neck and neck. But then it’s shabat (neck-of chicken), then pesach (neck-of lamb), so we wont know till, um, after the chagim – and they are in September. Chag sameach!

About the Author
David Weinrich has dedicated his life to chasing military aircraft for fun, in Europe, the Americas, the Far East and for the past 27 years, at home in Israel. He photographs them, underlines them in his books (quill & parchment, please), escorts foreign "plane spotters" to the farthest corners of Israel and now writes a Blog about them for the Times of Israel.