I may have been able to vote Herzog if . . .

Herzog made a huge mistake by inviting Livni to hitch her wagon to his horses. He would have been better to take an inventory of his own assets and he would have seen that right there next to him he has his best and most valuable treasure – Stav Shaffir. She has shown herself to be a formidable parliamentarian and her talents and accomplishments should have been strutted out before the nation right from the start.

Putting Stav on the stage would have spoken volumes for what the party can do to pull this country out of the abyss. Herzog was thinking as an underdog, an also-ran, and not as a visionary. He was thinking in terms of Netanyahu and not on his own terms, and it seems his entire campaign until now, beginning with bringing Livni on board, has been in reaction to Netanyahu rather than from within his own inner sources of inspiration and motivation. What we need at this moment is a visionary who is confident of himself and what he and his team have to offer the people.

We need someone who foresees the time when this country will be a safe place to raise our children, not just from a security standpoint, but from an economic standpoint. We need someone who sees all Israeli children, from all ethnic backgrounds, walking proudly and happily to well-equipped schools with less than 30 pupils per classroom. Someone who sees all pre-schoolers attending daycare centers with no more than 5 children per adult. Someone who sees towns and villages in the most outlying areas with groomed streets shaded by flowering trees. Someone who sees all children learning Hebrew, Arabic and English. Someone who sees young parents who, secure in their ability to support their families on their incomes, have enough leisure time to relax and play with the kids with nothing else on their minds but having fun. Someone who sees the elderly well taken care of, whether in their own homes or in institutions – with healthy food to eat and all the meds they need. Someone who sees a country in which people disagree, sometimes poles apart from each other, but do so respectfully, trusting that in the end, all views will be heard and commonalities found that can pave a way to palatable solutions. Someone who sees discrimination gradually disappear because there will be a common sense of purpose and lowering of the barriers created by fear.

Of course, that visionary is not naïve. The visionary knows that the path is stony and negotiates its way through deep thickets of underbrush. At the same time, that visionary knows how to gather together the best team, a team with multiple talents. The visionary knows how to inspire each member of the team and to draw out the best they have to give. And the visionary knows that what holds the team on track is the image of the world they are reaching for rather than checking who is breathing down their necks. And the visionary knows who among that team is best to have out on stage infecting others with the breathtaking vision of what can be. And in our present case, that person is Stav.

Mr Herzog – if you can show me that you are more than “Just Not Bibi”, you just may sway me.

Can you show me that you can think positively? Can you end this rehashing over and over about what shouldn’t be, and, instead, show what can be – and show it by your actions and not just by your words? What actions, you ask? Well, Mr Herzog, if you can hook into your own vision of what can be, from the center of your being and not just a superficial nice-story-nice-people-like-to-tell, you will know yourself what that is. I think, also, that when you hook into that vision and begin to operate from there, you will project from the lectern confidence, excitement and the thrill of the ride even as you do not lose touch with the trepidation of the huge responsibility you are asking to be laid upon your shoulders.

About the Author
Sheri Oz, owner of, is a retired family therapist exploring mutual interactions between politics and Israeli society.
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