Jewish Agency holds mock elections around the world

Likud Beytenu gets one-third of US college students’ votes according to Hasbara Fellowships poll, followed by Meretz with 10%.

January 17, 2013 03:13
1 minute read.
Casting votes in JAFI mock election in Toronto

Casting votes in Jewish Agency mock election in Toronto 370. (photo credit: Courtesy Jewish Agency)


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If Jews around the world could vote in the Israeli election, whom would they choose? This week, the Jewish Agency and Aish Hasbara Fellowships are polling young Diaspora Jews to find out.

Jewish Agency emissaries from Saskatoon to Johannesburg are setting up voting booths for a mock election for Jewish people aged 14 and older.

“This activity allows Diaspora Jewry to learn about Israeli democracy,” Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky explained. “This exposes them to the pluralism and variety of opinions in Israeli society.”

Seven mock voting booths will be set up in Johannesburg, where there are 45,000 Jews, in schools, nursing homes, kosher supermarkets and other Jewish institutions. The Jewish Agency will have two more voting booths in Cape Town, where 15,000 Jews live.

In Toronto, 400 middle school students will vote, and different classes will represent different parties.

A Jewish Agency camp in Melbourne will hold a mock election, in which campers presented different parties’ platforms, and a youth group in Rio de Janeiro will have a similar activity.

Next Tuesday evening, the Israeli ambassador and other senior Jewish community members in South Africa will present the results of the vote, which are expected to be broadcast on Israeli television.

Hasbara Fellowships, a project of Aish International, interviewed English-speaking students in Israel about the parties that they support, and posted the videos on Facebook.

The organization encourages Jewish students around the world to watch the videos and decide which party they would vote for if they were Israeli citizens.

In addition, the students are asked to write what Israel means to them.

The answers and results are posted on the Hasbara Fellowships Facebook page.

On Wednesday, students from 52 colleges and universities, mostly in the US, voted, with 31 percent supporting Likud Beytenu, 11% for Meretz, 10% each for Yesh Atid and Labor, 9% for Bayit Yehudi, 6% for The Tzipi Livni Party, 5% for Shas and 2% for Hadash.

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