(photo credit: DR)
Want to know the stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict of every party with a chance of getting elected to Knesset? Now you can see all the platforms of 11 parties on key issues with one click, thanks to the Tel Aviv-based grassroots organization Kol Oleh and its website, http://kololeh.com.
Volunteers worked day and night to translate the platforms of the parties from Hebrew into both English and French, and Spanish and Italian are on the way. To allow immigrant voters to compare and contrast the parties, the website puts all the platforms together on key issues like the economy, education, and matters of religion and state.
“Most people in Israel don’t really understand what is going on in the election,” said Kol Oleh founder Guy Seemann. “We want people to understand who the candidates are and what they stand for, so they will be able to determine for themselves which parties and candidates would make the changes they want for the country.”
To that end, Kol Oleh hosted an event at a Tel Aviv bar Sunday night with candidates from eight parties speaking in English. But rather than debate or lecture from a podium, the candidates went from table to table to meet with their voters, speed-dating style.
In an indication that such events are necessary, without much publicity, more than 350 people registered for the event, which was more than could fit in the bar.
Kol Oleh’s next event is scheduled to be at the Tel Aviv Museum next Sunday with former president Shimon Peres, who heard about the organization and asked to speak to English-speaking immigrants.
“Peres wants to come and encourage immigrants to vote, become involved in the political system and have an impact,” Seemann said.
The website helps voters learn how and where to vote.
Its organizers said it will soon offer news updates from The Jerusalem Post, VoiceofIsrael.com, and other English news sites, and polls from polling sites like KnessetJeremy.com and Project61.
“You need to be informed in order to be engaged,” Seemann said.
The Likud announced Sunday that MK Danny Danon will hold a series of English events in communities with English speakers. He held an event Sunday in Ra’anana and he will come to events soon in Beit Shemesh, Modi’in, and Jerusalem.
At the Ra’anana event, Danon spoke in favor of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu going to Congress and said it was wrong of opposition leader Isaac Herzog of the Zionist Union to base his campaign on attacking the prime minister.