Home InDepth Op-Eds Why We Vote So Much in Israel

Why We Vote So Much in Israel

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We are voting again in Israel. This is only the third election for this election. If we’re lucky, there’ll be another election for this election.

In Israel we vote for parties who then decide if they want to join forces. They need to get 61 of 120 Members of Knesset to agree to form a government. Unfortunately, the only thing that these Members of Knesset will agree on is that we are probably going to have another election.


Here are some of the reasons why we Israelis vote a lot and love it:

We Love the Word “Coalition”

It sounds sophisticated.

We like Getting Text Messages from Politicians

Everybody likes getting texts. It makes us feel wanted. We don’t know these people, but it’s exciting to hear that beep and see that Bibi’s getting in touch with me again. He wants me to vote for him. He’s very needy, always texting me. I would block him, but I feel like we are bonding.

These texts are more exciting than the stuff I get from my friends. I just got one that said it’s a mitzvah to vote. My friends aren’t creating new Jewish laws. Only politicians can do that.

We Enjoy That Blue Memory Game Set

In order to vote we have to pick out the white cards that signify our party of choicefrom the blue case and put them in a white envelope and then into a blue box. We love this because it’s very Zionistic.

It’s also a fun game to try and find the correct letters of your party. They make it even more exciting by giving you letters to choose from that have nothing to do with the name of the party. It’s fun figuring out how a letter like “z” represents the Likud party.

We Need a Day Off

This is the country’s way of finally giving us a Sunday. For those who are unaware, Sunday is a regular work day in Israel and some Israelis (me) complain about this mercilessly. Israel’s way of a giving us a day off every five or six months is to let us vote. What are we voting for? Sundays.

Voting is a Holiday

It’s a festival. We love the joyous feeling. Every voting day people are nice. They say “shalom.” They give you stickers. They smile at you. I would vote every day if that meant that the guy working the bodega didn’t look angry when I went to pick up milk.

Who doesn’t love stickers?! You get a smiley with the name of the party with the politicians you hate. You get to walk around and wear the sticker and people say the Israeli adage kol hakavod (“all the honor) because they think you gave blood.

You know what I would love? Scratch and sniff stickers. Every party would have its own scent. Election Day would smell like a trip to the department store.

The Country is Accomplishing Stuff

This is actually the Israeli Peoples’ secret plan to keep the politicians from being involved in running our country. The government is finally doing something. When the government is not being run by people, they get stuff done. The garbage is being picked up. Construction around the country is at an all-time high. Another company with the name Maccabi was started. That’s how I judge progress in Israel, when another agency acquires the name “Maccabi.”

Once politicians form a Knesset, it’s over. They get their committees going. That’s how you halt progress, with committees. That’s how you end something good, you meet about it. Just ask your shul’s ritual committee.

We Believe Every Party Should Have a Chance to Win

We embrace the millennial ideology. Everybody’s a winner. The first time it was Blue and White. Last time it was Likud. We should get Kadima in there and give them another chance to be winners.

People Change Their Minds

Can you imagine if you voted once and that was it? I can’t. That would mean that my decision was final. I can’t take that pressure. It’s the same reason I can’t walk into an ice cream parlor. Too much pressure. There are too many choices. If I take the nut supreme I’m stuck with it. But what about peanut butter brownie fudge? Don’t pretend you know what I’m talking about.

Politicians change their minds too. They were representing the Russian immigrants. Then it was the pensioners. Now it’s about lowering taxes. Make a choice is it going to be Russians or peanut butter brownie fudge!

Parties Have to Negotiate

Have you ever been to the shuk? Have you ever negotiated in the Middle East? Negotiations for a darbuka hand drum can take a good half hour. That costs anywhere from fifteen dollars to five hundred dollars, depending on how much time you have to negotiate. Now imagine you are negotiating for the soul of Israel or at least a much larger darbuka.

These parties have to now join together on foreign policy and make decisions on domestic rules such as if Maccabi should be the name for everything in Israel. We don’t take this lightly.

We Like Second Chances

If second chances are good, shouldn’t third and fourth chances be better? Too many people make mistakes when voting the first time. They’re ill informed. Now, we get to vote again and again and make a mistake this time too, just a different mistake.

By the Time I Vote Again I Might Know What is Going On

I don’t know the difference between Likud and New Right or Labor and Kadima anymore. Truth: I just go into the booth and pick a white card with a letter on it. I have no idea what it means. It’s a Hebrew “Reish” and it represents “green.” There’s a Hebrew “Pei” and “Lamed” and that is the Israel is our Home Party. I really don’t know. I pick a different one each time. It looks like the memory game. I was never good at that game. And I was never good at Hebrew. I just hope my vote does not make a difference.

If anybody is giving out scratch and sniffs, representing Sundays and decent deals on darbukas, I am voting for them.


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