On January 22nd, Israel will vote for its new Knesset, and choose the Prime Minister to lead it. Much unlike the American system, here, we have countless parties with countless ideologies to choose from. Behind the curtain, we will cast our ballot, and choose one party only. The person leading the party which will get the most votes, will become Israel's next Prime Minister. I asked some of my friends to tell me, and you, whom they are planning to vote for, and why. Some knew the answer right away, some are still struggling. Each day, I will post a different column with a different opinion. Take in count that this is merely a taste of all the parties competing for our votes. Today, Alex Zusmanovich will explain his choice of voting Ha'Bait Ha'Yehudi.
My vote will probably go to Ha'Bait Ha'Yehudi/ Alex Zusmanovich
I don't know how you choose for whom to give your vote in your elections, but here in Israel, due to an almost complete absence of real leaders and politicians that we entirely believe in, some of us, myself included, choose for whom to cast our vote for, using the method of elimination.
So after this basic assumption about the Israeli elections, we can move on and choose from a very large variety of political parties. If you are a right winger like me, you have three parties to choose from – 'HaLikud Beytenu', the ruling party headed by the prime minister Netanyahu, 'HaBayit HaYehudi' (the Jewish Home) party headed by the newcomer Naftali Bennett and 'Otzma LeIsrael' (Power for Israel), a far-right radical nationalist party. If we put away the last option, mainly because it far too radical, not to say fascist, we have only two options left. On January 22 , I will cast Ha'Bait Ha'Yehudi ballot paper in the ballot box because of two main reasons:
Firstly, because I don't want to vote for the Likud. I see it as an archaic, mostly corrupt party that promotes its worst candidates to the Knesset.
Secondly, because I believe that Ha'Bait Ha'Yehudi, once a sectorial settler's party, has changed, and now uses a more extensive rhetoric that fits even for a secular guy from Tel Aviv like me. And here lies the main problem with this choice. The main criticism directed towards Ha'Bait Ha'Yehudi refers to it as a radical, Messianic, ultra-religious party that hides its real intentions under slogans that work for everyone.
Of course that there's a little truth in it, but same as the criticism that refers to the Labor party as communists that want to enslave us all or to Meretz party as a fifth column that will eventually destroy Israel from the inside, it's exaggerated. As I see it, it's only a pre-elections discourse that is used for receiving more votes over a party that is viewed as your enemy. After the elections, many parties that were sworn enemies before, sit together in the coalition.
To sum up, I'm not one hundred percent confident in my vote. Ha'Bait Ha'Yehudi is too religious for the ideal party that I see in my mind, but I still see it as the best choice considering my ideological and political views. And as I said in the beginning – almost nobody here is fully sure with his or her choice, we're just eliminating them, and vote for the least bad.
Alex is a 26 year- old Communications and Political Science student, currently living in Tel-Aviv.