Intermountain Jewish News

Banner
Saturday,
May 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

Who are Turkey’s Jews?

Cnaan Liphshiz Historically, Turkey has served as a safe haven for Jews fleeing anti-Semitism in Europe and elsewhere. ... [Link]

British Jewish woman wins $25k in religious discrimination suit

Julie Wiener Aurelie Fhima applied to Travel Jigsaw in Manchester, but was rejected after she said at a job interview that her religious observance prevents her from working on Friday nights and Saturdays. ... [Link]

Child Holocaust survivors get $60 million — in a single day

Uriel Heilman The Claims Conference sent out payments totaling about $60 million in a single day last week – the first of an estimated 70,000 one-time payments of 2,500 Euros to child survivors of the Holocaust. ... [Link]

Turkish Jews staying put but eyeing exit amid president’s hostile rhetoric

Cnaan Liphshiz Some Turkish Jews say the anti-Semitic atmosphere whipped up by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s anti-Israel rhetoric is prompting many to question their future in a country that long has been a... [Link]

At Jerusalem ‘SlutWalk,’ women protest rape and victim-blaming

Julie Wiener Israel’s fourth annual SlutWalk on Friday promoted the message that women should be free from sexual harassment even when wearing revealing clothing. ... [Link]

In Belgium and France, Jews and Jewish museum employee threatened

Cnaan Liphshiz An African employee at Brussels’ Jewish Museum was warned that talking of Jews is “dangerous for you.” ... [Link]

Alleged Nazi war criminal who moved to Canada dies at 93

Julie Wiener For years Vladimir Katriuk was second on the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s list of “most wanted” Nazi war criminals. ... [Link]

U.K. launches inquiry into Hasidic group over female driving ban

Julie Wiener The inquiry followed the issuing of a letter from Belz rabbis in London saying that female drivers violate “the traditional rules of modesty in our camp” and that children would be expelled from B... [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