green leaf activists 298.
(photo credit: )
Exit poll results broadcast on a giant screen at Yankee's Bar in downtown Jerusalem - the chosen location for the gathering of a handful of Green Leaf activists last night - indicating the party had failed to gain entry into the Knesset did not change the atmosphere much.
Those present had hoped to see Green Leaf pass the voter threshold and gain a landmark political foothold in the Knesset, or at the very least, to raise awareness of the issues for which they stand - most famously the legalization of cannabis.
They were not particularly optimistic from the start. Perhaps their apathy was an after-effect of the previous night's hazy Green Leaf party in the very same bar which continued well into the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Former Hadash voter Noam Kuzar told The Jerusalem Post, "I do not believe that the government has so much power to change anything, so the best form of protest is to take the election with a pinch of salt and have some fun."
Green Leaf's election publicity, which was suitably printed on perforated filter paper, made clear the party's major priorities. These included providing more support for victims of violence, demanding equal pay for men and women, and interestingly, effective rehabilitation for drug addicts.
However, these issues were seemingly not at the forefront of voters' minds. Itzik Elbaz, Green Leaf activist and manager of Yankee's Bar, admitted that "the drugs aren't important, if people here want to smoke drugs, they smoke drugs." He added, "I am not interested in the standard politics of Israel, nothing ever changes. Many people vote Green Leaf because MKs have no idea what young people in Israel go through, they are too detached."
On an evening of surprising voting patterns, including the success of former Mossad agent Rafi Eitan's Gil Pensioners' Party, Itzik Elbaz joked with a wry smile, "I think that everyone voted for the pensioners."