Exploding the myth of Sheinkin

It is no longer fair to perpetuate the myth that those who spend their days in caf s on Rehov Sheinkin are either all peaceniks or apolitical. Sheinkin caf s are not as vibrant and "in" as they once were, and many of the vanguard bohemian types have moved south to artsy Florentine. Those who frequent Sheinkin caf s nowadays are usually not from Tel Aviv but rather "tourists" from other Israeli cities roaming one of Israel's most popular shopping avenues, as a casual conversation with Sheinkin coffee sippers will reveal. Shuli of Caesarea, a former Tel Aviv resident who was sitting at one Sheinkin caf , says she's probably voting for Kadima, "but as the best of all evils." She can understand voter apathy, thinks that Israelis are fed up with politics, and that Sharon was "one of the last of the greats." "Fortunately, it's the US who's running the show, so I don't really have to worry about who's going to be chosen," she adds. Liraz, 24, from a city outside of Tel Aviv, says he follows the news closely and is probably switching his Likud alliances to Kadima. His friend Idan, 22, however, also from outside of Tel Aviv, doesn't know whom to vote for. "I think I fall into the apathetic category," he says. Farther down at another caf , Ricky, 20, of Hod Hasharon, is hesitating between Meretz and Kadima, but her friend, Ronny, a 20 year-old soldier at the Gaza border, is more certain. She's voting Meretz but as a default candidate. Both enthusiastically agree that if Sharon were healthy, they'd vote for Kadima. Lian, 21, and Ortal, 20, of Moshav Yegel, a farm community generally aligned with Likud, are both voting for Kadima. Lian offers no special reason for her choice but says that "all parties really offer the same thing." Kadima gets Ortal's vote because she "believed in Sharon's way and the man." So Kadima seems to be winning on Sheinkin according to this unscientific, caf -style poll. That makes the caf s of Sheinkin difficult to categorize - it really depends on whom you ask.