This blog was written before the polls closed.
Election day in Israel is a national holiday. Anyone who must work earns 200%, double the normal salary. That makes most employers think twice employing anyone for that day. Intercity public transportation is free of charge, even from the eve of polling day.
This is supposed to take away any pretext from anyone to not vote. But what it does for any religious Jews who ever lived in (formally) Christian countries is that it brings back sweet memories of the Sunday as a day off.
After a relaxing but still taxing Shabbat, a whole day to travel, see friends and family, go to the beach or just relax at home.
Every couple of years, political parties in Israel promise us a free Sunday–once a month or so. It never happened. Too bad. It would increase productivity, as Moses already told Pharaoh (Midrash Exodus Rabbah 1:32).
Maybe we should insist on elections every month.
Could it be that most nice candidates seem dangerous idiots and the smart ones resemble dangerous bullies? That would be unfortunate options.
I found myself again having to chose between voting for a better society lead by politicians who seem stupid enough to endanger our country or for a safer country led by people who talk like selfish capitalists.
If I may believe the news reports, Arab Gentiles in Israel voted with their feet. Let no one criticize them as irresponsible. They correctly showed how much their supposed representatives have done for them: nothing.
An interesting side effect from there having been less people who voted is that less votes are necessary to reach the electoral threshold. Welcome news for many parties that have been teetering close to the limit for weeks.
It’s good that G^d’s in charge or it would be one big mess here.
For those who think that facts matter and that memory may provide context:
* Bibi called early elections when he thought to do well now–gamble.
* His announcement has reshaped the political field: parties appeared out of and vanished into thin air.
* And still, nothing will change as long as the religious parties join Bibi.
And now, three wild cards for after this election:
1) Which coalition will Bibi form?
2) Will Bibi be indicted and survive politically?
3) Will he be able to resist Trump’s Peace Plan‘s recklessness? Because, will Donald be so bold as to arm-wrestle anti-Semitic Arab rulers to the negotiating table?
The non-report “Bernie Sanders Says He Hopes Netanyahu Loses” from anti-Zionist AP and Haaretz could equally have as sequel ” Netanyahu Hopes Bernie Sanders Loses.” But with Bibi as PM and a solid rightwing coalition, we have nothing to lose. We’ve survived other anti-Zionist US presidents, including Obama, and we’ll survive yet another one. But we hope it will not come to that. We could care for a US President Nikki Haley.
Israel is like a serialized feuilleton. You never know what will happen next but you know that the next installments will all end in cliffhangers too.