Photo: Yaron Brener

Election Day thoughts

We have not had leaders who are bigger than life for a long time now

As opposed to the commentators who characterized this election campaign as “sleepy,” it appears to me that this was one of the more fiery election campaigns we ever experienced.


It was fiery mostly internally, because it raged mostly in the hearts and minds of the citizens in the State of Israel. It was an election campaign that left us not knowing who to vote for even as it was drawing to an end. There was no place in the past month where conversations did not open with the question: “Who will you vote for?”


Our views shifted and changed like miserable waves at sea, because everyone agreed on one thing – these elections were forced on us all of a sudden, while there is no new and promising leader on the horizon.


Indeed, we did not have fiery election conventions around here accompanied with the hurling of tomatoes, yet this is just because not too long ago we finished with dropping bombs in Gaza and sustaining rocket attacks in Sderot.


So those who are left at the end of the race are the three musketeers with their swords drawn and the manly look in their eyes, along with one woman who is not particularly fragile and not very experienced when it comes to leading a nation into battle on the military or economic fronts. Yet to her credit, for the first time in many years she dared put women at the front of the stage, and that’s something too.


I was there on Election Day in America. The entire US shook with excitement. The streets moved, Bruce Springsteen performed, and people pinned their hopes on the black man who suddenly appeared on the stage of history and swept the entire world.


Yet this did not happen here.


Are these elections fateful?

So today I will go into my car, drive to the hill, and from there I will look at the sea and at the city. I will be alone for a short while, and later I will decide who I will be voting for. I won’t prepare a ballot in advance at home. I will likely go with my gut and gamble on the person who may translate all my dreams and hopes for a better country into action. The one who I think will be less indifferent to social injustice, the one who will address the economic crisis we are facing, and the one who will stop Iran from producing nuclear bombs and wisely cope with its affiliates in the world of terrorism – Hizbullah, Syria, and Hamas.


I will not be voting for those who have verbal thuggery and hatred on their agenda.


The final four candidates do not have the “Barack Obamaness” in their eyes. All their attempts to dance with us at nightclubs and make big promises in the past month were received with a raised eyebrow and complete mistrust.


We hug politicians when we are close to them, but usually we avoid them like fire. With the wisdom of age, I know that they don’t really listen to us, and I sometimes tremble with fear when I try to guess their plans for us and for our children.


Are these elections fateful? Apparently they are. After all, around here everything is always fateful.


On this day, I pray that politics will bring us back what it has been taking away from us for years now, and especially our self-respect, our conscience, and Gilad, the boy and soldier we lost in Gaza. I pray that our elected officials will mess up our lives here to a lesser extent than before because of their indifference, while lowering the threshold of evil, violence, wars, and corruption.


Over the years, I learned along with everyone else in this country that simple and sleepy days were never right for us around here, and that we have not had leaders who are bigger than life for a long time now.


So this is what we have, and with this knowledge and with a small hope that maybe, maybe…we shall go and vote today. As to what will happen later, well, all of you already know that…


פרסום ראשון: 02.10.09, 10:46
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