It was a great experience to be able to exercise my right and obligation as an Israeli citizen to vote last week.
It was an interesting experience as well being part of the democratic process. There were 33 political parties to choose from, yes 33 and there was a 34th card in case you want to add yours (or vote for no one). Why so many political parties? Israelis all have very strong opinions and they each have their own interests that they want to put forward in a political party.
Let’s take for example the green leaf party (not to be confused with the environmental Green party), it’s not a joke but this party is concerned only with legalizing marihuana (see picture below), what about peace? The economy? Iran? Palestine? Education? If you don’t think it’s ridiculous already add to this that since they are so small they decided to bring in another small party: The holocaust survivors… I have respect for everyone but sometimes can’t understand this system. Don’t worry the green leaf party did not get any seats.
|From Sabra Album|
The TV commercials for the political parties were very interesting and sometimes even funny. There’s for example one of the Arab parties TV ad from which I could not understand anything (it was all in Arabic) but you could see the party leader and then lots of music and videos of soccer players, I’m not sure what their interests are, but it’s important to note that in this democracy 2 different Arab parties got in total 7 seats in the parliament.
We don’t have a clear elected prime minister yet given the small gap between to two leading parties and the unknown coalitions that need to be formed.
By the way it was great to have the entire day off for the 10 minutes (or less) that took to vote. Se below some pictures of our activities during the voting day. After voting we went for a quick hike (quick because it was cold and muddy).
The new year for the Trees (Tu B'Shvat) was celebrated last week. Below are some photos of a trip the kids did with Liora to an ecological farm in Modiin where they planted a tree together with other new olim (new immigrants) in the presense of our city mayor. There are also some other pictures from home. Below that is a video of the kids singing (and the mother) a Tu B'Shvat song next to a Shkedia (almond tree).
How about visiting Jerusalem?
Continuing our Friday 3 hours without kids activities we were trying to figure out on Thursday night what to do the next morning. Isn't it great to just wake up and say: How about visiting Jerusalem? So we did. We drove to Jerusalem started with a "walking" breakfast with out of the oven borekas, juice and cofee, we then took a walk through the old city walls and made it to the Kotel (western Wall) we walked back to the car through the Jewish Quarter where we bought fresh Chalot (shabbat bread) and made it still in time to pick up the kids. After that to give Liora some time without the kids at home and prepare for our 10 lunch guests, I took the kids for a hike to a mountain nearby with people from our synagogue. See some pictures below.