Today is the Israeli election day. Out of the 36 competing factions, I voted for an obscure party called “Or”, run by an ex-fundamentalist Jew named Yaron Yadan. The party focuses on one thing the most, and it happens to be the idea Icherish more than anything: freedom – secular, liberal, disestablishing values.
Israel has a security fetish. Being constantly at war, constantly under threat, constantly paranoid – has caused us to forgo the truly reverent values of democracy. If you say this to an Israeli deeply engrosses in politics (especially of the Kibbutz/youth movement variety), he’d tell you you’re wasting your time or at least, favoring that which is of secondary importance.
I disagree. I think having a secured nation, or furthermore, to finally have peace in this cursed region – means nothing if the values we foster as citizens are vacuous.
I don’t see the regional issue as irrelevant or unimportant – but I for one am sick and tired of devoting my entire political aspiration towards survival. It’s insane. Yes, there are military threats to Israel. Yes, there’s crime, corruption and dissent everywhere you look.
But at the end of the day, I want to read a book about animals, play guitar hero, spend time with my loved ones and go to gym.
This isn’t Sparta. In the 21st century, the only obsession people should foster is for themselves and their neighbors’ well-being.
“Or” will probably not make it through the threshold, and I won’t be crying in my boots over it – but at least, for a change, I’ll be voting for something I care about and believe in.
And that counts.