Group urges young Israelis to vote

Polls show ignorance, apathy, and alienation between youth and nation's leaders.

man voting 298 AJ (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
man voting 298 AJ
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The One Voice movement on Wednesday launched a campaign to increase political awareness and voting rates among Israel's youth. The move came following polls it commissioned among Israelis aged 18-32, which showed a growing apathy and alienation between the youth and the nation's leaders. The polls revealed that only 44 percent of the people in the defined age group intended on voting in the upcoming elections on March 28; only 46% believed their vote could make a difference. The elections evoked no interest from 52% of the poll's participants, 77% of whom were secular. Political ignorance also seemed to characterize the youth, with only 41% of them knowing that Tzipi Livni was foreign minister. Another 27% stated they did not know who occupied that position, 17% believed it was Silvan Shalom - who was foreign minister until Likud quit the government about two months ago - 4% of those polled thought Shimon Peres, who had not been foreign minister for four years, served in that capacity. About 19% of the youth said that the popular political satire show "Eretz Nehederet" served as their primary source of news. A similar percentage stated they received their news from the press and televised news broadcast. The results of the poll were expected to form a central part of One Voice's campaign. They also planned on distributing "invitations" to an election day party and were to broadcast an animated videoclip on the internet, stressing the importance of voting. The event was to take place on at 11 p.m., Wednesday night at the Tel Aviv port area, and was to include youth representative from Kadima, Likud, Labor, Meretz and Shinui. One Voice defines its goals as making the voice of the silent majority heard, reducing the effect of the more vocal extremists.