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Thursday, March 16, 2006 

Nadia Matar: We don't have the luxury of not voting

In the following op-ed by the Women in Green movement's Nadia Matar, she talks about why we have to vote in the upcoming elections:
The elections are in two weeks, and I want to specially address those among us who declare that they don't intend to vote. I, too, feel only contempt and revulsion for the election campaign.

"Look," you say - and rightly so - "the last elections brought a presumably 'rightist' government to power, and it betrayed us, it deported thousands of Jews from their homes, and it handed over portions of the homeland to the Arab enemy, who turned the area into Hamastan." This is correct. Undoubtedly, with the exception of two, or perhaps three, members of Knesset, all the MKs disappointed, deceived, lied, betrayed, did nothing or did not do enough. The spontaneous response to this is: "If so, then why should I bother to go and vote? I'll stay at home, and I won't continue to take any part in this farce."

But after thinking for a while, we must understand that we don't have the luxury of staying home and not voting. What can we do? The upcoming election is really a referendum on the future of the settlement enterprise in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. It also raises the question of whether Israel is a Jewish state or a state of all its citizens. Accordingly, without discussing the question of whom to vote for, we must get out of our easy chairs and take part in the activity to persuade the majority of the people for whom not to vote. All our efforts must be directed to prevent Ehud Olmert and Kadima from winning the election. This cannot be achieved by staying home and not voting.
Quite right. That aside, there's a most interesting point to be made about why Israel didn't get the government it really deserved - Ariel Sharon prevented that. Back in late 2000, he had been manipulating things almost behind the scenes to prevent Netanyahu from being able to run again for premiership the way he'd wanted to, by seeing to it that the Knesset would not vote in favor of full dispersion. And, in the end, of course, Sharon violated the mandate he himself had gotten from the voters and exploited it for his own interests. It's not as if Netanyahu was at fault there. And when Netanyahu was prime minister, not only did he not have an honest and devoted coalition to back him, he was also betrayed by his would-be defense minister, Yits'haq Mordecai.
Another point that could convince all sectors of the population that it is essential that Olmert not be elected is to be reminded that Shimon Peres, who is despised by the people, is number 2 in Kadima. The same Shimon Peres who brought upon us the Oslo disaster, who brought the arch-murderer Yasser Arafat and his murderous gang here, who gave them weapons, ammunition and cities of refuge, and who is responsible for the thousands of victims of Oslo, is Olmert's right hand. Conspiracy theories are already current among the public that if, Heaven forbid, Olmert will be elected, the left will arrange to have Olmert removed from power somehow, either by putting him on trial for corruption or by any other way that the left knows. Shimon Peres, who is ready to make even more concessions to the Arabs than Olmert, has a distinct possibility to become prime minister.

If such nightmare scenarios are on the horizon, how can we stay home and not vote? At the very least, we should try and ensure that the Olmert-Peres party won't take power.
Yep, because with the corruption charges cropping up against Olmert, it's possible for Peres to exploit that by taking over the leadership, if Olmert has to step down, and then more or less grasp the power he's hoping for by being a prime minister.

So I hope everybody in Israel who understands the danger we're facing will be ready to vote to prevent this dastardly duo from coming into power.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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