On this Election Day, let us vote with respect and unity
Opinion: In special comment to mark Election Day, Israel's president urges the population to be respectful of one another despite political and ideological differences, in what he calls 'critical elections that will decide some of the core issues' of society
Once every four years, sometimes sooner, Israeli democracy dresses up in multi-hued voting slips of our many political parties. Naturally, every Election Day celebration is different. Today's differs from its predecessor. Perhaps it's the issues on the ballot. Perhaps this one feels more passionate or maybe it’s the battle cry of old and new candidates.
Perhaps, many will say, it is the belief of Israeli citizens that these are critical elections that will decide some of the core issues of Israeli society.
As I do on any Election Day, I urge Israelis to exercise their right and their democratic duty to vote and to make a difference. This is a commitment to future generations, to strive for a better future. Even if the list we vote for does not ultimately form a government, or fails to even cross the required threshold to enter parliament - no vote is wasted or forgotten. We are all heard and we all win.
But today of all days, I want to remind all of us, that our civic duty does not end with casting our vote. It demands a daily struggle to ensure a better society in Israel and a better standing in the world.
Ten days from now, as we celebrate Passover, we will be sitting around the same table with people from the left and from the right. Let that be a reminder that though we are made up of tribes, we are all Israeli and are ultimately one society with a shared responsibility for our Jewish and democratic country. Together and separately we must all ensure a respectful discourse that excludes no one.
The rules of democracy protect us all, those in the majority and those in the minority. They ensure all of our voices are heard. In this field there are no team and no opponents. Israeli society in its entirety wins.
Tonight when exit polls are published we will know who won. Will democracy win? Will Israel? Did the public come out and vote?