Ever since I was a little child I woke up with the melody of an old German Christmas carol sounding in my ears. It is kind of funny that I remember a Christmas song as a Jew but we heard it so often back when I was living in Germany that it stuck with me and especially today as it fits so well for what’s happening as we wake up tomorrow morning in Israel.
It goes something like this:
“Tomorrow, children, there will be something, tomorrow we will be happy;
what a jubilation, what a life will be in our house!”
We do not yet know whether we will actually be able to cheer tomorrow after the elections as we have already failed twice to get a government. But that’s democracy, everyone gets to decide for themselves, and whether we like it or not, even if we are now being called to the ballot boxes for the third time in a year, it is important that we all exercise our right to vote tomorrow. In Israel we say, “third time ice cream” so we just might enjoy some of that jubilation still ringing in my ear.
Who’s to blame?
In the course of this election campaign, I had the feeling that the politicians who were unable to form a government coalition expect us voters that this time we will vote “correctly.” In their eyes, we seem to be the ones who are to blame and now have to vote again. And if it doesn’t work this time, and if we don’t understand which party we are supposes to choose (of course, each of the two blocks sees it differently)? Then there will then be another, fourth ballot. Netanyahu seemed to point his finger at who’s to blame in an interview on Friday. “The voters,” says Netanyahu, “must now pull yourselves together and put the correct vote in the envelope, whatever it may be.”
Tomorrow I will choose the same party I voted for in September and April 2019, and also in the elections ever since I became an Israeli citizen.
In some ways elections in Israel are a good thing, or at least we try to make the best of it. We get another day off work, the third time this year, and though it costs a lot of money to run an election, we still enjoy the day, at least until we remember that in the end we are the ones who have to pay for it!
For now, whatever happens, we will enjoy election day, especially since the weather is slowly getting warmer. It rained this morning, but it looks to be sunny for the rest of the week so many will use the day off for an excursion with the family.
“Tomorrow children there will be something happy…”
Another reason I’m singing my song is that if you want to take a trip tomorrow on election day, you can take the train or bus from tonight at 8:00 p.m. until 11:59 p.m. tomorrow for free. Yes, absolutely for free. Passes are distributed on the platforms and are also be available at the automatic machines.
The basic idea for this initiative is to make it easier for citizens to get to their polling station. I just hope that the free travel by train will not do the opposite and that people would rather go on a trip to nature than queue in front of the ballot box, because if two elections did not help, why should it now work the third time?
I have never missed an opportunity to vote and I will not do it this time either. Also, as always, I will probably be one of the first to vote as I get up early for the new day. By tomorrow evening we will be excited to see the first projections. And “there will be something” happy or not.
Together with my colleagues from Israel Today, I wish you a pleasant Sunday and a happy new week. Wish us luck for the elections. On Tuesday we will report on the results. Until then, take care.
Shalom from Jerusalem!