Groundhog Day? Another election...

Israel is facing an extraordinary election predicament at the moment, which sees that news cycle for the future of the country’s leadership looking a lot like Groundhog Day.

Eden Alene hugs her mother, Zehava Varkanesh, after winning the Rising Star contest and the honor to represent Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest, which will take place in Rotterdam on May 16, just nine days after her 20th birthday (photo credit: Courtesy)
Eden Alene hugs her mother, Zehava Varkanesh, after winning the Rising Star contest and the honor to represent Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest, which will take place in Rotterdam on May 16, just nine days after her 20th birthday
(photo credit: Courtesy)
There isn’t an hour in any news day that doesn’t involve coverage of leadership issues in different parts of the globe. From impeachments, to bitter election battles, coup d’états and corruption scandals, world leaders continue to dominate news headlines. Analysts dissect their latest comments. Leaders are criticized and vilified or praised and admired. The news cycle continues...
Israel is facing an extraordinary election predicament at the moment, which sees that news cycle for the future of the country’s leadership looking a lot like Groundhog Day.
The country is getting set to hold its third election in the space of one year. The reason? Both in April and September 2019 leaders were unable to set up a coalition. So, now on March 2, 2020, citizens in the country get another chance to make their mark, most of them hoping for a concrete resolution in an unprecedented and hugely perplexing political scenario. Will leaders see past their bitter differences and set up a unity government? Will the stagnation persist?
How will this election be different from all the others?
Every year, on the festival of Passover, Jewish children around the globe sing one of the most loved songs of the Seder, asking the question, “How is this night different from all the others?”
It seems an apt variation right now is “how is this election different from all the others?” While analysts and pundits often don’t agree on many issues in the country, it seems fair to say the vast majority are predicting a similar outcome. Once again, the two biggest parties will be unable to secure enough seats to win an outright majority, and again, the leaders won’t be able to set up their own coalition.
If the experts are right, once again, the chairman Yisrael Beytenu, Avigdor Liberman, will be the kingmaker, and the country will wait to see if this time, he is ready to “pick a side” so to speak – either join forces with the right-wing bloc or the centrist and left bloc.
The impasse sees Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz trading insults, each claiming they will be the one to lead the country after March. The indictments Netanyahu faces are compounding the situation, with critics asking how a leader can run the country while facing trial on corruption charges, and supporters insisting he is the victim of a witch-hunt, and can easily handle the legal obstacles ahead.

The unifying impact of inspirational news
So, while the country faces yet another political stalemate, it’s heartwarming to see the kinds of issues that seem to unify people across the country. There’s been much excitement over the news that the next performer to represent Israel at the hugely popular Eurovision Song Contest is Ethiopian-Israeli teenage singing sensation Eden Alene.
The magnetic 19-year-old singer – who was born in Jerusalem – will be the first Israeli of Ethiopian descent to represent the country when she performs in Rotterdam in May. Her mother, Zehava Varkanesh, can take pride in the knowledge that the entire country will be behind Eden when she holds the Israeli flag on stage in the musical extravaganza. At least on this inspiring news story, the country is likely to be unified with one voice.

Smile of the week
You can’t help but smile at the supermarket checkout when trying to pay for packages of pasta and the cashier sends you back to the store aisle to take another brand instead. When I explained I preferred the one I had chosen, she insisted I try her favorite, because, in her opinion, it was far superior. You can’t argue with that kind of persuasion!


Tags Elections