Zelda Harris
Five on the 100 aliyah from UK list!

Tomorrow is another day

Watching this evening’s  ITV broadcast of the most lack lustre campaign for local councils in memory, I was reminded of the time   in the 80’s when the anglos in Netanya decided to form Etgar(challenge) a non allied  list, to run for local elections.I was one of the few members, who was not a recent immigrant, spoke fluent Hebrew and  had some, experience of Israel’s political system. 

My attitude was that an anglo list would only appeal to a small segment of the locals.We were approached by the Shinui list who suggested that we join forces.They had similar ideals to ours and would attract a larger vote.

After returning from an in depth political briefing in Jerusalem, so that I would be equipped with knowledge and tools to make our dream a possibility, I was told by the initiators of Etgar, mostly american olim, “We are not interested in what you have to say and will not be tainted by association with any political party. We run alone.”

Obviously I dropped out, albeit that I was number two on the list and only there because I was well known in the community.I had allowed myself to be pressured into joining them, even though I had recently been appointed, Director of Britain Israel Affairs Center  in Tel Aviv.

A local councilor is a volunteer.

The result of the election was that the Shinui party got in with two seats and our list failed to obtain a seat, by only a few votes. To my knowledge  the anglos in Netanya did not try again and it seems to me, that even until today English speaking immigrants remain ”babes in the wood” when it comes to Israeli politics.

Fanya Kirshenbaum from Israel Beitenu, was impressive in responding to Channel One presenter Geula Even, on the issues surrounding the low voter turn out. However I take exception to her reasoning that a “national holiday’ as we have for the Knesset Elections, would have made the difference.

Of all years when the public should have got off their backsides and let indifference fly out of the window, this was the time to do it. After “The Social Justice” uprising of less than 3 years ago, when more than a million citizens of this country took to the streets to demand accountability, this was the opportunity to put ones money where the mouth is.

Only do the Mayor and local councils get directly elected by the voters.They should be the agents for change and break the stranglehold of central government by positive action.

The answer is the public have no confidence in ANY elected officials.

What a sorry state we are in!

We can only look forward to more of the same and ITS OUR OWN FAULT!

The only sign of good news today but lets not get our hopes up, was the proposal from experts in Schderot for the production of TABLES, which would withstand falling debris and masonry in times of shelling and the effects of an earthquake.

Those of us from the UK who lived through WW2, remember well the Morrison tables which towards the end of the war, were installed in  every home in Southern England.The germans were launching rockets from Northern France and the traditional outside air raid shelters were not suitable. Many lives were saved.

Quote from archives: A [house collapse resisting] shelter should be designed to absorb some part of the applied energy in its own partial collapse; complete resistance was far too costly … The Morrison table shelter was … designed to withstand the debris load of a house by its own partial collapse, whilst still giving adequate protection to the occupants.

“Tomorrow is another day” Scarlett O’Hara in God with the Wind

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.