Reprinted from Gush Shalom
ONCE A Soviet citizen went to vote. He was given a sealed envelope and told to put it in the ballot box.
"Could I possibly see for whom I am voting?" he asked timidly.
"Of course not!" the official answered indignantly, "in the Soviet Union, we respect the secrecy of the ballot!"
In Israel, elections are also secret. Therefore I shall not tell you for whom I shall vote. Certainly I shall not be so impertinent as to tell my readers how to vote. But I shall set out the reasoning that will guide me.
WE ARE voting for a new government, that will lead Israel for the next four years.
If this were a beauty contest, I would vote for Yair Lapid. He is so very handsome.
If we had to decide who is the most likeable candidate, it would probably be Moshe Kahlon. He seems a very nice guy, the son of a poor, Oriental Jewish family, who as Minister of Communications has broken the monopoly of the cellphone tycoons. But sympathy has nothing to do with it.
If we were seeking a nice, well-mannered guy, Yitzhak Herzog would be the obvious candidate. He is honest, of good family.
And so on. If I were looking for a bar bouncer, Avigdor Lieberman would be my man. If I were looking for a smooth TV performer, both Lapid and Binyamin Netanyahu would be more than adequate.
But I am looking for a person who will at least prevent war (and perhaps bring peace closer), bring back some form of social justice, put an end to the discrimination against Arab and Jewish Oriental citizens, restore our health, education and other social services, and more.
LET ME start with the easy part: for whom I shall not vote under any circumstances.
On the extreme right there is Eli Yishai's "Beyahad" (Together) party. I never liked Yishai. Before he split from "Shas," he was Interior Minister and persecuted refugees from Sudan and Eritrea without even a modicum of compassion.
With his new party desperate to overcome the threshold clause, which is now 3.25%, Yishai made a deal with the disciples of the late and unlamented Rabbi Meir Kahane, who was branded as a fascist by the Supreme Court. No. 4 on the list is now Baruch Marzel, who once publicly called for my murder. Even a bottle of the noblest wine is spoiled by a few drops of cyanide. No sell.
Next on the list is Avigdor Lieberman, the center of whose election platform is the proposal to behead with an axe all Arab citizens who are not loyal to the state. (I am not making this up.)
Not far from there is Naftali Bennett, the smooth, baby-faced former high-tech entrepreneur with the smallest kippa on earth. After conquering the Religious-National Party in a hostile takeover, he turned it into an efficient outfit.