New York-born Batya Medad made aliyah with her husband just weeks after their 1970 wedding and has been living in Shiloh since 1981. Political pundit, with a unique perspective, Batya has worked in a variety of professions: teaching, fitness, sales, cooking, public relations, photography and more. She has a B.S. in Journalism, is a licensed English Teacher specializing as a remedial teacher and for a number of years has been studying Tanach (Bible) in Matan. Batya blogs on Shiloh Musings and A Jewish Grandmother. ...
I couldn't decide which article to post here, so I decided to give you a double-serving. There's always more, if you're interested, on Shiloh Musings.
"Electoral Reform," Pandora's Box
The road to the hell of gerrymandering is paved with the best of intentions aka "electoral reform."
I'll be voting for Ichud Le'umi
Just because it works in the humongously large, stable super-power, the United States, doesn't mean that it would be good for tiny and realistically threatened Israel.
To divide (a geographic area) into voting districts so as to give unfair advantage to one party in elections.
A number of years ago, the Jerusalem Municipality decided that the then new Ramot neighborhoods should be governed by district councils. Contrary to the original plan and expectations of the municipality, more religious and chareidi had bought homes and apartments in the new neighborhood than secular Jews. They didn't want the minority of secular residents to be dominated by the more religiously observant, which would be the result if they allowed true democracy.
They studied the patterns of home purchase and saw that the secular dominated the low density, single-family homes, and the more religiously observant were in the higher story, multi-family apartment buildings. So, instead of dividing districts by population, so that there were approximately equal numbers of voters, families or residents in each district, they divided Ramot by buildings. Yes, a private home for one family was considered equal to an apartment house for forty families or more. Yes, that's an example of gerrymandering Israeli style.
Every time I hear people say that Israel must have "electoral reform" and change to districts, I think of this and have nightmares.
There are many things that should be changed in the Israeli Government. Chief among them are the courts and the way the judges are appointed. There should be checks and balances. Today, the Supreme Court can overrule any law which doesn't suit the political and "moral" agenda of the justices.
And there's something that can't be legislated, the political sophistication of the voters. During the last elections, three years ago, the young Tel Aviv trendies voted for the Pensioners Party as a lark, and they became a political power in the coalition negotiations. They were a total farce and failure as Members of Knesset.
As a G-d fearing person, I know that democracy isn't a true G-d. It's just a tool we humans can use... for good or for bad. G-d willing, the people we vote into office next week will use their positions wisely. For this I pray, and I'll be voting for Ichud Le'umi.
The Israeli Media Is Attempting To Make Sense Of Avigdor Lieberman's Popularity
It's rather humorous, actually. Suddenly the man they tried to avoid is the biggest news in the elections.
"What's important isn't the numbers, it's the trend. That's what the pundits are saying, and they trend is voting for Avigdor Lieberman. Now for my understanding of the phenomena: It's all Bibi Netanyahu's fault! Bibi should never have gone for the "center." The people want a strong patriotic, Right wing leader, not some wishy, washy parve guy.
- Parve isn't a leadership characteristic. It's a sign of weakness.
- The center is like a whirlpool, dragging everything into the deep to drown.
- A leader pulls us out of a morass and gives us a strong, positive, optimistic future.
I'm not voting for Lieberman; I neither trust nor support him, but he's showing the leadership the country is craving.
Polls are just polls, and elections, at least here in Israel, always provide later surprises. We never know how the politicians will behave once in office.
So, it all boils down to:
Yisrael, batach b'Hashem!
People of Israel, trust in G-d!
PS I'm voting Ichud Le'umi!