today i voted in the israeli national elections--my first time. it's a really intense, crazy situation here. here's a few of my observations and comments, but it's VERY difficult to sum up.
i voted for meretz. More on them, here. Notable--they are pushing a bill to give settlers compensation if they leave the Occupied Territories.
the voting places were nearly empty. i didn't wait at all. i came with the card i received in the mail + my ID card, and i was handed an envelope. you then go behind a big blue piece of cardboard, where there are 30+ different little pieces of paper with the initials of the party, plus the name written out smaller. then, you choose the piece of paper you want, put in envelope, seal, and then place in a big, locked cardboard box. and that's it. has anything changed in 60 years here? at least-no hanging chads!
there are 33 parties running, from:
- the arab party balad that was disqualified one month ago.
-yisrael beytenu with its #1 on the list a russian immigrant-avigdor liberman- calling for arabs to sign loyalty oaths
- meretz, a party pushing for ending the occupation and social justice
- the traditional big parties, including likud with bibi (who will probably win)
- kadimah which was started by sharon in late 2005, who is now in a coma, and led by tzipi livni, who says we need to remove all settlements,
- ehud barak who just was defense minister and led the useless, atrocious war in Gaza.
many Israelis didn't know who they were voting for up until they arrived to the booth.
many Israelis say--it doesnt really matter what party you choose, it's all the same hara (shit).
is there really a left? great article:
baruch marzel, extreme right wing settler, wanted to surpervise elections in Uhm al-Faham, Arab-Israeli city in the North. there was an attempt by Israeli's Attorney General not to allow him to enter the city, then the Supreme Court said he should be allowed, and then the head of the Police removed someone else from his far-right party from entering city. There were riots and other unpleasant experieces.
i can go on and on with the various stories and experiences of the eleections. it will be intersting to wake up tomorrow to a new reality.