At first glance, the results of yesterday’s Israeli election are not as bad as expected. Bibi literally got his wings clipped, but will still be able to fly once he forms a coalition government as surely he will be asked to by the President of the state. Who will be in that government depends on who the best asskissers are…
The electorate chose the right and centrist (left) equally. Now the scramble will begin as to who in the non-right (but still wrong) camp are willing to compromise any or all of their principles (of which there are few or none).
Surely the racist Shas will be the first in line to vie for a portfolio or two with the strength of their 11 seats, as will the racist Naftali Bennett who made (in)fame earlier in the week for his racist statements.
More details about Bennett in THIS report. His Party, Bayet HaYahudi (Jewish Home) also garnered 11 seats giving 42 to the right camp with Likud-Beiteinu’s 31.
A centrist newcomer to the political scene came straight from his television career, Yair Lapid. His Party, Yesh Atid won 19 seats, the biggest winner in his camp. Labour garnered 15 seats, Meretz and Hatnuah 6 each and the hopeful Kadima a mere 2 seats. Lapid is the son of a late Knesset member, Tommy. His dad was a holocaust survivor that often embarrassed the government with his off the cuff remarks about various situations that arose. Hopefully Yair will continue with that. For sure, he will also be in line to kiss Bibi’s ass for a portfolio or two.
Despite the low turnout in the Arab sector, the Arab Parties held their own winning 12 seats in total. Ta’al with 5 seats, Hadash with 4 and Balad with 3. For sure, they will be a proud part of the opposition as there will be no ass kissing from that camp.
An interesting developement occurred yesterday that I must share with you via a report in HaAretz;
Kudos to those who took part in this, another indication that there is still hope in Israel.

2,000 Israelis volunteer to vote for Palestinians

New initiative pairs up Palestinians and Israelis, who cast ballots according to their partner’s preference.

By Ilene Prusher
Protest ballot
Shimri Zameret’s protest ballot on behalf of a man named Omar from Hebron on Tuesday, Jan. 22.Photo by Shimri Zameret

Ofer Neiman planned to cast a ballot in Jerusalem on Tuesday, but not for a party of his choosing. Rather, he decided to “give up” his ballot, as he put it, for an East Jerusalem Palestinian – a man who doesn’t have the right to vote in elections for the government under whose laws he lives, and which has the power to determine his fate.

That man is Bassam Aramin, who, like Neiman, is a peace activist. The two are part of a new initiative called Real Democracy, inspired by a similar movement that sprang up in the UK in 2010. There, supporters were asked to donate as it were their votes to people in countries such as Afghanistan and Bangladesh. In just ten days, the group says, about 2,000 Israelis have volunteered to give up their votes by being paired up with Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank or Gaza.

“I always supported Meretz and Hadash,” Neiman explains. “But I came to the conclusion that specific parties by themselves will not bring about any change from the left, and it’s more important to emphasize in various ways that these elections are not actually democratic. For me, it’s part of an ongoing worldwide movement to let people know there’s no democracy here, so instead of these false hopes by voting for left-wing parties, I’m voting on someone else’s behalf.”

Critics might say that there is a flawed logic here. Palestinians have voted in elections; Aramin himself voted for the Palestinian Legislative Council in 1996 and in 2006. The latter wasn’t easy, because the Israeli government and the Jerusalem municipality didn’t want Palestinian Authority voting booths dotting the officially united capital, even though the right of East Jerusalemites to cast ballots was stipulated in the Oslo Accords. And with Hamas emerging as the victor, it was an election many pro-peace Palestinians and Israelis would just as soon forget.

But those elections don’t mean much under the circumstances, Neiman posits. “The Palestinian elections are meaningless, because they’re still under Israeli occupation and they have no sovereignty,” he says.

Aramin, whose 10-year-old daughter Abir was shot and killed in 2007 by a border policeman, is a co-founder of Combatants for Peace and is involved in the forum that brings bereaved Israeli and Palestinian families together. He knows that Real Democracy’s campaign will be dismissed by many as a fringe phenomenon. But he hopes that it will make people think twice about accepting the status quo.

“My hope is that a lot of Israelis will start to open their eyes and ask, ‘why are these crazy Israelis giving their votes to the Palestinians, to the ‘enemy,’” he quips. “I hope that through this, more people will realize that what we’ve been living with for almost 46 years is not a normal situation, and it is not democracy. Perhaps this campaign will open up some debate about it.” He asked Neiman to vote Hadash, “because it’s the most serious Arab-Jewish party, and because I like Dov Khenin. He’s always with us, fighting for real democracy and coexistence.”

Shimri Zameret, one of the activists, discovered late Monday that a group of nine Palestinians from Bil’in, a site of regular protests against the West Bank barrier, wanted to participate. Zameret put up a note on Real Democracy’s Facebook page asking for Israelis to give up their vote for the nine, but was skeptical that they’d have enough last-minute takers.

“In 45 minutes, we had nine Israelis come forward. We were all shocked at how fast people signed up,” he says.

Sometimes the Palestinian “match” for the Israeli voter says his or her choice is to boycott the vote altogether. That’s what happened for Zameret, who is voting on behalf of a man named Omar in Hebron.

“It’s a form of civil disobedience. Yes, people get angry at me and say, ‘how do you change the system if you don’t participate?’ But I don’t agree,” says Zameret. “Sometimes boycotting is a better way of highlighting the lack of legitimacy of the system.”

Shelly Nativ, 40, who lives in Tel Aviv and works at Open University, was casting a vote for Wajih Burnat, a Palestinian in Bil’in whom she knows from going to protests in his West Bank village. He decided to vote for Ahmed Tibi and Ra’am-Ta’al.
“To have a few million people decide the fate of double the amount of people, that’s not a democracy,” she says. “For me things here have gone so wrong, I didn’t feel comfortable to just go and vote, because I felt that the parties I might vote for couldn’t address the severity of the current situation. So the campaign made sense to me – I can at least give my vote to someone else.”

She hesitates, and moves away from the polling place where she just voted, concerned she could be accused of campaigning too close to the ballot box. “I hope it has some kind of impact,” she adds, lowering her voice. “The positive impact will be if it will somehow diversify the public debate about our state of affairs. It has been very narrow so far.”



  1. mikael said,

    January 23, 2013 at 20:50

    Israel have been warned, time and time again, to watch out for false prophets, selfsentred and finnascial intres in maintain a world, where few proffits massivly, on the behalf of the Rest.

    Take a long hard look at You world, Israeli and tell me, why is it crumbling and poverty is on the rise, missery never felt before, and despair, the richochet, Israeli, is comming, and its comming hard.
    I never belived the notion of supremacy of intelect, when they are running after a glearingly obvious lunatic, and the rest of the pack, druling in the shaddows, ready to continuation of this game.

    Like the looting of the UssA, you are been looted, diverted into hate and lies, fals perspectives and even more flas future, because, it must be obvious to even You, Israeli, that we are witnessing the crumbling of the entire fundament, the bassis of all this missery.

    I have thrue all this Years, made it crystall clear, the differnce of them and the rest, but then again, coplicity and delibierate denile, is not going to help You at all, the end game is begunn, and I dont know when it will ring, but we all know, exept som lunatics in Tel Aviv, that its just a matter of time.

    Wars always just benefit, few, Peace, benefit all.

    Who is it possible to be afraid of Peace, thats my only question, that has baffeled me for Years, what collective insanity is belived to perpertuate a philosify, so perverted for so many Years, and stil, deny the reality the rest of the world sees.
    We are not blinded, Israeli by drivel and lies, You are.

    Wake up.

    From one of the very few artists I stil listens to, and respects, L.Choen.
    By the rivers dark

    “Your beliefs become your thoughts,
    Your thoughts become your words,
    Your words become your actions,
    Your actions become your habits,
    Your habits become your values,
    Your values become your destiny.”
    ― Mahatma Gandhi

  2. desertpeace said,

    January 23, 2013 at 21:45

    Cohen deserves no respect at all as he was one of the artists that performed in Israel recently after being asked not to by the Boycott Movement. HE should be boycotted, not praised.

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