I generally vote for another party

I generally vote for another party, but on Tuesday March 17, I will be voting enthusiastically and optimistically for the Zionist Union. I understand that the only way to rid us of Bibi and Sara is to band together in a critical mass to give the Zionist Union the most leverage to form a coalition.

I watch with despair and horror as the right wing government, the settlers and the religious fundamentalists squeeze the life out of my Israel. Years of complaints by people of almost every political persuasion have left me puzzled as to how there could still be a substantial vote for the right. What have they done to deserve any Israeli’s vote?

The world traditionally, stereotypically and often resentfully has thought of Jews are smart, clever, generous and successful. What can they think of us now that we have a Prime Minister who:

  • is a petty thief and a schoolyard bully, refusing to pay for taxes he owes on his private residence and making his staff pay for nose drops and other items without reimbursing them;
  • allows workers to be abused; workplace rules – only for others;
  • uses taxpayers – many of whom cannot pay their own monthly bills – to pay for an extravagant lifestyle that most Israelis can only dream of and are rightfully repulsed by;
  • is so disdainful of Israeli voters that he has failed to propose a Likud platform with objectives, initiatives and aspirations – no document, no ideas, just “trust me”; “trust me”? Why?
  • has left us without friends and partners in the world and is termed a liar by leaders of the Western world; who can forget the pictures of him elbowing his way to the front in Paris and waving like a celebrity to the crowd?
  • eggs on and allows his ministers to disparage world leaders, especially in the US, with ad hominem attacks saying our friends are anti-Semites and delusional. Either he is so weak that he cannot control his ministers, or they are doing his bidding. Hard to know which is worse.
  • repeatedly pokes his thumb in the eyes of US leaders on whom we depend for much of our security and position in world opinion; over and over he hits out like a bully and then expects favors like vetoes at the UN, protection from the International Court, and weapons upon demand. If you believe this is security, I have a bridge to sell you;
  • makes strident and false accusations about NGOs being leftists and funded illegally. He files a lawsuit against the NGO V15 which is working in a non-partisan way to bring non-voters to the polls. Then when the accusations prove groundless, he pulls the lawsuit, but the besmirching and damage has been done, and impressions left. Dirty tricks – no regard for the truth or fair play.
  • accepts funding from Sheldon Adelson, the Republican billionaire who publishes a free pro-Netanyahu rag that during the election is actually a daily campaign ad, and then falsely accuses and strikes out at center-left groups. Talk about foreign interference. A definition of chutzpah and false indignation. Adelson’s Golden Rule – he who has the gold, rules;
  • He makes a big show of religiosity and piety yet allows the corruption of the Chief Rabbinate to go unchecked. His own incendiary, coarse language and ethics are the very opposite of Torah values and respectful treatment of others.

The shame is that this list could go on for pages. How can even one Israeli – well maybe Sara and his two sons – vote for this man who has humiliated us, left us weaker, with Iran closer to becoming a nuclear state, and who arrogantly neglects the needs and hopes of Israelis, except the monopolists and Hilltop Youth.

It is telling that the mock election held at The Blich High School, known for successfully predicting election surprises, voted for the Zionist Union to take 38 of a 120 mandates on March 17, with the Likud party far behind as only the third-largest party in the next Knesset.

The Blich students forecast that a combination of supporters and those who understand the importance of a large center-left bloc, will oust the right wingers and restore optimism and energy to Israeli life. Only then can we finally rid ourselves of a deluded man and his compatriots, and his stranglehold on our future.

On March 18, who do you want to be Prime Minister? No contest for me – the Zionist Union has the real possibility of saving us from a dark path for Israel and restoring our dignity, our Jewishness and the reality that only with a strong commitment to a democracy can Israel survive the folly of a bi-national pariah state.



About the Author
Ricki Lieberman lives in Yafo, has been a senior executive in the private, public and non-profit sectors, a long-time activist in progressive politics. a proud Zionist and advocate of a democratic, Jewish Israel. She graduated from the Newton Public Schools, Radcliffe/Harvard College, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Kennedy School Senior Government Officials program. She has American and Israeli citizenship.
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