Sara Altmann

Israelis deserve inspiring leadership. It’s time for a change.

I am immensely grateful for the good the people in this country do for each other. They deserve better leaders.
An Israeli volunteer gives away food package to a holocaust survivor in Ramat Gan, January 29, 2021. Photo by Chen Leopold/Flash90
An Israeli volunteer gives away food package to a holocaust survivor in Ramat Gan, January 29, 2021. Photo by Chen Leopold/Flash90

I am not a revolutionary, nor am I a social activist. I am a simple, honest, loyal citizen of the State of Israel. I view my role as just another, yet integral, brick in our State’s wall, contributing to the web of life in my own meaningful way.

There are very few things that fundamentally threaten to destroy my stability, and that I am prepared to truly fight for. I will defend my family and protect my children to the bitter end. I will always strive for truth. I will forever and proudly be a Jew, and alongside that, I will eternally stand up for my country and nation.

Our history is long and fraught. We have endured duress upon duress; suppression and untellable pain. Yet we continue to stand, we continue to fight. Our resilience is nothing short of a miracle. We are a nation unlike any other. We are true fighters, both physically and spiritually.

Yet, here we are today, once again, a seemingly enslaved people to our leadership, and the questionable decisions they are making on our behalf. Except unlike our experience during centuries of enslavement, debasement and darkness, during this period of history, we are playing a major role in forming our leadership. We placed our confidence in them. We rely on them to make honest, conscionable, and rational decisions, for the betterment of our country and its citizens, us.

As citizens of the State of Israel, we have endured wars, poverty, economic crises, constant threats and attacks, deep social rifts and divisions, and now pandemics. Few would argue we are an outstanding people; resourceful, intelligent, compassionate, and hardworking.

I am immensely grateful for the good the people in this country do for each other. From the taxi drivers, hospital workers, soldiers, shop owners at the shuk, high-tech engineers, police force, teachers, to the shelf-stackers in the supermarket, and the list goes on. We all have our part to play to contribute to the State.

I desperately want to be able to be thankful for having leaders with our best interests at heart; leaders who will build up this country to its real glory, leaders who will encourage ingenuity, who will embrace diversity, and who will show empathy. Leaders who believe in us and our potential, and who will allow us to shine.

The world has gone through a global level of introspection over the past year. Universally, leadership has been challenged in ways we could never have predicted, and with this we have been privy to see the true colors behind our so-called powerful decision-makers. I know that I am not alone when I express extreme disappointment with our country’s chaotic leadership throughout this crisis. Suppressed and denied the ability to earn a living, to put food on our tables, to educate our children, to meet our loved ones, or to simply enjoy our lives. This overwhelming and stifling reality has led to many of us feeling abandoned; forgotten by our leaders.

It is very apparent that we need to see real change, to be able to trust again, and to believe in renewed hope.

Never before has it been so obvious for our need to fight together for our core values, for our integrity. Fight for our right to live, to prosper, to feel secure in a society governed by an honest leadership. Fight to uphold the honor of our ancestors, and fight for our redemption, our future.

It can’t merely be a coincidence that just a few days after we head to the ballots, we will sit down to celebrate the greatest event in our history as a Jewish nation; Passover, our festival of freedom.

This year, we have the chance, once again, to make history; to make real change. This year, when I cast my vote, I will choose not to remain enslaved. I will take the risk and fight for my children’s future, just as my forefathers did for me.

As Elie Wiesel once said, “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”

Now is the time to stand up. It is the time for change. It is the time for trust. It is the time to be remembered.

About the Author
Sara Altmann is a Thorny English Rose who made Aliya.