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Today I’m raising the stakes. On February 10, 2010, Yedihot Aharonot (the largest Hebrew daily newspaper) published an article entitled “Kadima recruits retired army officers against the ‘Yordim Law’.” The article was quite short and left me fascinated. It made some sense, but how could I explain that to non-Hebrew speakers?
During the late stages of my getting the refugee status, I was asked about the Israeli political map. People at my country of refuge couldn’t understand what a “left wing party” in Israel was; all of them looked ultra-right wing to them. I found explaining that a bit difficult. All the Jewish parties are Zionists and capitalists. Yes, the religious difference is the main separation in the political system. Despite the Israeli mainstream constant denial, the main problem in Israel/Palestine is religious and not ethnic. All the Zionist parties support the human rights violations of the Israeli security services. The vast majority opposes a constitution (Israel doesn’t have a constitution). The biggest differences between the parties are minor shades in their proposed peace process. All of them claim to pursue peace.
In this context, the Yedihot Aharonot article was mesmerizing because it showed the country main political leaders believe that the Israeli public thoroughly differentiates between the Zionist parties ideologies. Yet, the random shifts in the parties’ sizes in the last two decades show that’s not the case. Most Israelis would be at lost if asked to tell the differences between Kadima and the Likud or the Labor. Interestingly, Kadima features a name (meaning “ahead”) which is also used by the Freemasons; I recently wrote about additional connections between Israel, Judaism and the Freemasons.
The last article explains the differences in the attitude toward “yordim” by the Likud and Kadima. “Yordim” can be translated as “those who go downwards” (present tense verbs in Hebrew are also nouns creating a serious problem while translating into English) and refers to Israeli citizens that left the country. The opposite “olim” (“those who go upwards”) refers to Jews arriving to Israel. Nowadays, the Likud is pushing the “Yordim Law,” while Kadima opposes it.
What is the “Yordim Law?” Israeli citizens can vote only within Israel, unless they are settlers in the West Bank. That is, Israeli citizens can vote in the general elections only if they are in Israel or in the West Bank; in the US they can’t vote. The Likud wants to legislate a law allowing citizens abroad (i.e. the yordim) to vote. Kadima opposes and recruited a retired lieutenant general and other high officers to give public support to its view (in Israel only generals count for that). Also the Labor opposes the law, but apparently couldn’t recruit any generals (though Barak - the party leader - is a former lieutenant general).
The spirits are high. I’ll skip the comments of the parties’ leaders; the point is that everybody thinks that most of the Yordim are right wing and thus would prefer the Likud over Kadima or the Labor. Goldstone is forgotten and while Ganz claims that bombing a hospital with white phosphorous artillery is an ethic act, Netanyahu fights with Livni over the “Yordim Law.” Israel has no external politics – everything is internal and personal – and those who fail understanding that would continue to be mystified by what is said (and also by what is ignored) by the Hebrew media.
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