On What Shall I Vote…

What is the issue that means the most to you? Economics, security, equality, education? Health, wealth, respect, land? So small a country and yet, so many issues. Which one is the one that will make or break your decision?

I have many issues on which I want to be educated. Who is the most likely to bring peace? At what price? If some compromise is needed – which party is most likely to be willing to compromise without giving too much? My children have to defend the lines these politicians draw. Give too much and you endanger citizens and soldiers alike, the current population and the one we are responsible for raising today.

What party is most likely to cater to the smaller parties giving them huge bribes/incentives to lend their support? It is my children that will pay the price of those incentives and most likely won’t be receiving them. I’m as tired of the “Haredi block” as I am of the “peace” block. The so-called peace block will never bring peace to this land and the “Haredi” block will never understand that we too are Jews, we too have a say in the future of this State and yes, this land. We are past the point that we can choose Eretz Yisrael over Medinat Yisrael and still remain here.

I am tired of politicians lying to me, telling me they support peace and security and wealth for all. They are for smaller governments and larger salaries, clean streets and plentiful water. They want world recognition and respect and a magical dome that will protect Israel so that our sons don’t have to.

What I want is a party to be honest with me – tell me the truth. I’ve had my vote stolen before. It leaves you with a bad feeling that remains long after the party ceases to have any meaning on the political spectrum. I voted for Ariel Sharon because he came to my yishuv and pointed to the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean Sea below. “You don’t surrender the hills,” said Sharon on the day he came to lie to us. He promised security and spoke of other issues that called out to me.

We believed and we voted and he betrayed, just as Bibi Netanyahu has. On what shall I vote? Perhaps this time I won’t listen to the politicians and what they say they will do. Rather, I will vote based on a rating of decency, honesty, and a willingness to admit the truth of where you plan to vote, what you have done and what you will do. Perhaps if we all accepted no less from our political parties, our government would not have reached the depths of corruption we saw under Ehud Olmert, nor would we be subject to the hypocrisies that have plagued us in the past.

I will say clearly to Bibi, to Tzipi, to Shelley, to Yair, to Naftali and Aryeh and anyone else I’ve left out – I don’t care what you stand for – just have the decency to be honest and let us decide. And, if we give you our vote, our trust – stick to the plan you’ve laid out or wait until the next round so you don’t betray your voters. 

As for me, amazingly enough I am in a position that I felt was ridiculous in all other elections. A day before we vote, I am somewhat undecided.

No, I won’t vote for Bibi and Likud – they lost my vote long ago and have done nothing to reclaim my confidence. Bibi’s endless attacks and nasty comments about Bayit HaYehudi and other contenders have proven to me that he does not deserve my vote. Channel 10 reports that Bibi might keep Ehud Barak, who flies in the face of so much of what I believe might well be the final nail in the coffin, but I wouldn’t have voted for Likud anyway.

I won’t vote for Yair Lapid – I don’t trust him; I don’t like him. He’s all flash and no content. He is a divider and not a “unifier”. We need someone to bring the people together – all the people…left and right, Haredi and secular.

I won’t vote for Shelley or Tzipi – you are dreamers that risk the lives our sons with your endless demands for compromise when we have no one to compromise with. Tzipi, you disgust me beyond words and I’m happy that I’m not a politician so I don’t have to pretend to find pretty words for your hypocrisy, your ego, your self-centered viciousness. And Shelley, you have better intentions, but the results would be no better. You just don’t understand the neighborhood in which we live and I don’t honestly believe you either.

Shaul Mofaz of Kadima – your party was born in shame and will die in shame. I would have expected better of you. Your best moments were those in which you served this land in uniform. All that you have done since then has made a mockery of your service.

What I am left with is a choice between Naftali Bennett (Bayit HaYehudi) and Michael Ben Ari/Aryeh Eldad (Otzma L’Yisrael).  I have never invested more in hearing the platforms of those in an election; I have never analyzed more, considered more, weighed our present situation against the future more.I have heard Naftali Bennett speak twice – in English and in Hebrew; I have heard Michael Ben Ari speak and Aryeh Eldad as well. I heard Jeremy Gimpel, Dov Lipman and Yair Lapid speak.

I have so much at stake – my country’s future, you see, could be decided in this election. I have to decide and perhaps, deep down I have. See my next post…

About the Author
Paula R. Stern is CEO of WritePoint Ltd., a leading technical writing company in Israel. Her personal blog, A Soldier's Mother, has been running for more than 5 years. She lives in Maale Adumim with her husband and children, a dog, too many birds, and a desire to write her thoughts and dream of a trip to Italy, Scotland, and beyond.