Zelda Harris
Five on the 100 aliyah from UK list!

Phoenix rising!

In Greek mythology, Phoenix is a long-lived bird that cyclically regenerates or is otherwise born again. Associated with the sun, Phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor. Phoenix rises from the cloud of darkness, and from the sacred ashes of her honor. Great in fame as she was, before.

I do not know who wrote that.  Its only relevance is, that the idea of changing our electoral system has, like phoenix, risen out of the ashes.   This idea was first proposed by a group which included the late Chaim Herzog, Gad Yakobi and Ted Tulchinsky and others, prior to 1978.

I met Chaim Herzog  in September 1978 shortly after I my return to Israel  after an extended stay in the UK.

Chaim Herzog, had returned from the UN where he had been Israel’s Ambassador and I knew that he had joined the Labour party, which had been roundly beaten by Menachem Begin’s party.  This event was known as the MAAPACH….overthrowing the regime! Together we started an organization called  The Committee of Concerned Citizens(CCC)

By the time the first Lebanon war had broken out in 1982 CCC’s  Bill to Change the Electoral System to one of Regional Proportional representation, was ready for its first reading.It had been proposed by an ALL PARTY COMMITTEE consisting of 17 MK’s.

Two years later this was not an issue which anyone wanted to pursue.

Now we are paying the price.The public feels disenfranchised. The mass of voters who had declared”A plague on both your houses” to Likud and Labour ,or gave their heartfelt support to Blue and White,today  have their tails between their legs. They have been  been dealt a body blow.  As too, Mapai/Emet The Labour Party whose roots stem from those same people who moved boulders with their hands and who during the time of the British Mandate, built the institutions which still serve us today!

In the UK,the Labour party of the early days, included the Jewish immigrants  represented by great politicians such as  Greville Janner, who’s father became a member of the House of Lords,Eric Moonman,Maurice Auerbach and others,all were Zionists.

In the UK we asked MP’s how they connected to their constituents.

They said “we have three letter boxes, one  for internal parliamentary issues,one for advertising and the other is letters from our constituents.” And which do you open first?”From our voters of course!”

We know that Ben Gurion had admired the British System.The system which guarantees accountability to your voters. Also the MP.s who all live in London during the time that Parliament is in session, have to have a home with their family, in the area which they represent.

Its called representation also accountability and no one here practices either. . They may say they are, but in fact are not. That is why they are one man bands and follow the leader. They will not leave a mark.

We the people, have to take the reigns and make the change before our country is torn apart with frustration and rage and no one  to identify with the problem.. I am concerned too with the ARTS and freedom of expression in books, platform or stage!

I wrote to Hilik Tropper to congratulate him and to let him know that Israeli writers and playwrights are not  receiving as far as I know, any funding to advance their craft!

Miri Regev our former Minister of Culture and Sport,made sure of that. I would maybe wrong to think that she also did not show any interest in Sport or budding potential athletes and so on.

So where are we now? Demonstrations are becoming dangerous places to be. Its not that the police are totally at fault its the atmosphere of FEAR! They are afraid of demonstrators who have been labelled almost enemies of the state. That’s what an anarchist is..no?

Minister of Justice,I believe he is Ohana, should wash his mouth out with soap every morning, before he gives an interview to the press.

So what are the public to believe?

Are we having new elections or will it be a waste of time when it seems a large percentage of our public has been brainwashed? When the result may well be more of the same.

New political groups are in the wings but can they get backing?

Does anyone have the answer to these naive questions?

About the Author
Zelda Harris first came to Israel 1949, aged 18. After living through the hardships of the nascent state, she returned to England in 1966. She was a founding member of the Women's Campaign for Soviet Jewry. In 1978, she returned with her family to Israel and has been active in various spheres of Israeli Society since. Together with the late Chaim Herzog, she founded CCC for Electoral Reform, was the Director of BIPAC in Israel, and a co-founder of Metuna, the Organisation for Road Safety, which received the Speaker of Knesset Quality of Life Award for saving lives on the roads and prevention of serious injury. She is now a peace activist, blogger for Times of Israel and is writing her life story.
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