Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Thursday,
Jul 30th
Home Columns Life in Tel Aviv Election buzz (or not?)

Election buzz (or not?)

E-mail Print PDF

With the US election days away, I’d like to fill you in on the situation over here regarding commentary and emotions surrounding the election (simultaneously enabling me to field my parents’ incessant questioning and what seems to be burning curiosity about the Israeli discourse on this topic).

I certainly don’t need to tell you that it is quite an exciting time to be an American. Through conversations with friends and family back home, I gather that the upcoming election is an all-consuming, incessant, in-your-face, around-the-clock, hot topic. From the required debates to the (not so required) SNL spoofs, spin-offs, parodies and commentary, this election seems to have everyone talking (/yelling/laughing/crying/losing sleep).  

What I can tell you, dear compatriots, is that it is definitely not exciting to be an American residing overseas during this time. Don’t get me wrong — there is definitely discussion here in Israel surrounding the elections; the news shows stay up-to-date with the latest debates, newspapers publish columns on the candidates and their views, and people have definitely been asking me who I’m voting for and what I feel about this whole, very charged, situation.

The American election buzz over here in Tel Aviv is nowhere near what you are all experiencing back home. I miss out on the jokes and spoofs (thankfully, there’s YouTube); I have yet to see a single poster, banner or sign claiming affiliation with one side or the other; lunchtime talk focuses on Israel’s upcoming elections, rather than those in the States; and I don’t feel that crazy energy that so many of my friends in America are currently experiencing.

In terms of the Israeli perspective on the whole election, I actually seem to hear a lot of everything.

I’ve met McCain lovers and haters, Obama lovers and haters, people who seem torn and people who don’t really care either way.

And to be honest with you, I think the biggest difference between life in Israel right now and life in America in terms of the election is that Israelis seem (get ready for this) apathetic. But I don’t mean apathy in the standard, negative sense; I actually think this lack of passion is a positive statement on Israel’s faith in America.

Ultimately, and through years of tested experience and gathered evidence, Israelis know that America is a strong partner, a reliable partner and a partner who has been there for them through ups-and-downs — changed administrations (Republican and Democrat), political instability, international crises and multiple wars. In my opinion, Israelis have reached a point in which they feel comfortable with America’s friendship, and secure in the fact that the US will be there for her, through thick and thin.

The question now, is whether or not Americans themselves can demonstrate the same faith in their own government, and in that institution — which, in my opinion, represents great hope and possibility — likewise find a partner who is there for them, through the good times and the bad.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 18 February 2009 12:19 )  

IJN e-Edition

This is only a taste! Get full access to the IJN via our e-Edition, only $14.04 for IJN Print subscribers.

E-Edition subscribers get access to a complete digital replica of the IJN, which includes all special sections.

Get the IJN's free newsletter!

Shabbat Times

JTA News

At Berlin’s European Maccabi Games, the past is ever-present

Gabrielle Birkner Survival — and thriving in the face of tragedy — was a theme that ran through the opening ceremony of the massive Jewish sporting event held in a city that once was the Nazi capital. ... [Link]

6 marchers stabbed at Jerusalem gay pride parade

Marcy Oster Three of the victims were seriously injured. The alleged assailant stabbed three people at the parade in 2005 and reportedly was released from prison two weeks ago. ... [Link]

Earthquake centered on Dead Sea shakes Israel

Marcy Oster The quake, which measured a 4.4 magnitude, also was felt in areas of Jordan. ... [Link]

N.Y. congresswoman, a Democrat, comes out against Iran deal

Ron Kampeas Grace Meng, who represents a heavily Jewish district in Queens, confronted Secretary of State John Kerry with questions during congressional hearings on the agreement. ... [Link]

Emerging GOP debate on Iran deal: To Huckabee or not to Huckabee?

Ami Eden United against the deal, the Republican presidential candidates are sparring over how far is too far in criticizing it. ... [Link]

Third suspect indicted in arson attack on historic church

Marcy Oster The indictment of a 24-year-old from Bnei Brak comes a day after two other suspects, ages 19 and 20, were charged in the attack on the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes. ... [Link]

Israel said to have turned off blacks in Congress, and other Iran deal news

Ron Kampeas And the White House spokesman fields a question about whether Obama is worried about congressional Jews who have yet to declare. ... [Link]

200 protesting squatters removed from former West Bank settlement

Marcy Oster The protesters, including families that were evicted from the settlement during the 2005 Gaza disengagement, had vowed to remain at the site. ... [Link]

Intermountain Jewish News • 1177 Grant Street • Denver, CO 80203 • 303 861 2234 • FAX 303 832 6942
email@ijn.com • larry@ijn.com • lori@ijn.com