Shimon Peres joins a young couple having lunch at a seaside restaurant and asks them who they are voting for in Israel's upcoming election. They smile nervously, glance up at the swarm of photographers and TV cameras that surround the former prime minister and admit the truth: They don't know.
Last week's anti-Semitism conference at UCLA had the potential to be powerful and mind-expanding -- except that almost no one showed up.
Voter apathy apparently was uppermost on Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's mind when he lumbered into a Jerusalem polling booth Tuesday at 8 a.m. sharp.
Brushing aside a barrage of questions from reporters, a bleary-eyed Sharon -- waking Tuesday to what many pundits and Israelis called the most useless election in Israel's history -- called "on all Israelis to exercise their right to vote."
As it turned out, he was echoing the title of the lead editorial in the mass circulation daily Yediot Achronot: "Go to the Polls."
Omar Baransi, a 71-year-old retired building contractor with a lined, leathery face, brags that he won't be voting in Israel's general election on Jan. 28. "We don't trust anyone these days," he said, "not even the Arab candidates. We've been citizens for 55 years and nothing has changed."