Oznia, a blog of Israel things


~Election Followup by aklionsky

There I sat on February 10, the night of the Israeli election, repeatedly clicking the “refresh” button every few minutes on the Yediot Achronot website. Each time, percentage of seats won by Kadima and those won by Likud seemed insignificantly different. This raised an important question: What happens if the margin of victory by one party over another is tiny.

The way Israel dealt with that question was, in a sense, to disregard the results of the election. When the results are as close as they were this year, Israel brings the final decision to the President. So it was, that on February 20, President Shimon Peres announced that he has the most confidence in Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s ability—not the ability of Kadima’s Tzipi Livni, the candidate who won the most votes—to form a stable coalition, and thus a stable government.

To us, this seems ludicrous. For a country to go through all motions of an election—making campaign promises, ordering ballots, setting up voting booths, tallying the preferences—and then throw away the votes because it can’t be sure that the selected person will make a good leader: what was the point of voting?

February’s election showed something important about Israeli society today. The election showed the division amongst Israelis over what to do about the current situation, and displayed the appeal to large camps of Israelis of both major candidates and their platforms. But what the election failed to do was precisely what it was supposed to: decisively deliver a new Prime Minister to the Israeli people. Continue reading

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~A Note on Advocacy by aklionsky

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My email has been flooded every time I check it.

Which is a good thing, considering the situation in Israel and the nature of the emails.

Earlier this year I put myself on the listerv for the Penn Israel Coalition (UPenn’s pro-Israel organization.) While they get a lot of their information–especially now–from Stand With Us, the organization is a great resource for updates on what’s going on in Israel, policies, and also pro-Israel events.

I get similar emails from the Jewish Federation, although those are more specifically related to Chicago and Chicago area events.

But perhaps the best tool since the most recent und of fighting began is facebook. Facebook has a plethora of proIsrael groups (and, unfortunately, many groups that are full of hate against Israel). Facebook’s ability to communicate quickly with people around your school and around the country makes it the ideal location for sharing information about the situation, news updates, and announcements about pro-Israel rallies and events going together. Especially since many of the rallies have been put together very quickly, the high turnout is astonishingly impressive, and much of it is due to Facebook.

Other organizations to check out are AIPAC, The Israel Project.

If you encounter bias in the media (which there’s a lot of), please DO NOT hesitate to report it to CAMERA and/or HonestReporting.

Please feel free to check out my two blog posts relating to Israel for a class I’m taking.

B’hatzlacha, good luck, in your advocacy!