Why does a Jew like me vote for an Arab party?

In these elections, like actually in all the previous campaigns that come up to my mind, I will not be voting for a party that I consider perfect or even better than other parties. I will choose the lesser of two evils. Some may attribute this to my being too picky; others would suggest that I am not rooted deeply enough in the country and that therefore I find it difficult to identify with one of the parties. Both criticisms are probably correct, at least to a certain extent. However, there is nothing inherently wrong with being epicure in politics like there is nothing wrong with being foodie in eating. It is also not a secret that I have tried to leave Israel three years ago and ended up partly back in the Holy Land not due out of Zionism but to take care of a business my father left behind when he suddenly died.

Yes, I am a bona-fide non-Zionist, but sympathy to the Palestinian cause is not the major reason why I will vote for an Arab party in the upcoming elections. I will be voting for them since they are less harmful to me than any other party (lesser of two evils – remember?). Let me explain my position: First, like many people, I believe that Netanyahu has to go since there is a limit to the number of criminal cases, the number of terms in office, and the number of hate incitement speeches we can suffer. This rules out all the right wing parties, but still leaves us with a plethora of center-left choices. The problem with all of them though (and actually a problem with right wing parties as well) is that eventually they all offer economic populism that digs deeply into my pocket. Using euphemistic jargon like “investment in education”, “encouraging women to go out to work”, “closing economic gaps”, “helping young families with housing”, or “supporting cultural activities” what nearly all the politicians from right to left really suggest is that single males with money will subsidize all the rest. Even Feiglin’s Zehut, which ostensibly takes a libertarian approach, offers de-facto that my taxes would subsidize occupation and education. Personally, I don’t need any of these – certainly not in large quantities. Why should I subsidize schooling for large families? Why should my private fortune be used to cover the absorption of Ethiopian Jews? Why need I cover the enormous defense expenses of irrational settlers who insist on living in Hebron when there is enough space in Kiryat-Gat? Why should I cover fertility treatments, when I have no wish to become a parent?

All the Jewish parties share the same spirit of economic populism: They promise welfare and ignore the cost of Dolce Vita. The Arab parties may also have a similar vision, but unlike the Jewish parties they lack the power to implement it. I vote for them not out of sentiment but because we share similar interest: destroying the Jewish welfare state and putting an end to the occupation. These wishes are unlikely to become true anytime soon, but even a small step toward their fulfillment is a step in the right direction.

About the Author
Amir Hetsroni was a faculty member at Ariel University in the West Bank. He is emigrating from Israel in order to miss the next war, earn higher wages, enjoy cooler summers, and obtain a living package that is cost-effective. He has three passports and does not feel particularly worried about anti-Semitism.
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