Saturday, January 24, 2009

Why I'm using my vote constructively

If you want the full story, you can read it in English at

As for myself, it was the assassination of Itzhak Rabin z"l that tipped the scales. During the summer of hate in 1995 I'd been a bystander, not willing to support giving so much land to Arafat who was not capable of running anything approaching a responsible nation, but not wanting to associate with those who shirk army duty but scream "Rabin the traitor". After November 4th, I realized that the sidelines are no place to be. Exactly at that juncture, route 6 was on the planning stage right where I'd see it every day and right over an avocado plantation belonging to my kibbutz. That brought me out of my shell, and into the world of green activism, some deadly serious and some a bit more esoteric but no less serious. A bit of a criminal record followed (to be proud of) and then a quieter period while I married (at last!) and now that I have not just a nebulous next generation to worry about but (also) a very specific next generation of my own flesh and blood, and now I have to do something.

The army has done its bit in protecting the country, but the green movements play just as important a role because after all, what are we fighting for? This isn't a country that we're just passing through on the way from one exile to another, this is home. If there's still one thing that unites young and old, religious and secular, and Jew and Arab, it's love of the Land.

If we can't live in peace with our water, with our trees and with our animals, how can we ever even think about living in peace with each other and the other?

If we can't go to the beach because it's been stolen by property "developers", then what's the good of being able to fly to Turkey? If we can't have a bit of biodiversity near our homes because it's been paved over for roads and interchanges, what's the good in being able (those who are able financially and physically) to drive to the Galilee to see a bit of nature?

So, that's why I'll be voting for the future when I put my voting slip with the letters
in the envelope
Let the big parties fight among themselves, they'll do what they feel like whether they have a mandate or not, and give your voice to a party that "thinks outside the box".


Blogger Ben-Yehudah said...


1. Is this the Green Party which is running with Meimad?

2. Let me know if you want me to add this to the table I'm making for the 14 Shevat/Feb. 8 edition of Haveil Havalim. I sent you an email about it.

24 January, 2009 12:58  
Blogger Asher said...

1 no, this the original and best green party, which is represented in municipalities across the country
2 I replied to your mail, in short, YES

24 January, 2009 13:07  
Blogger Ben-Yehudah said...

Thanks for the clarification.

Who are the others then?

24 January, 2009 13:10  
Anonymous J.P. said...

Last week there was a piece on tv about the Dead Sea and it's contribution of water by the river Jordan.
You sit there and watch totally flabbergasted this destruction of the environment.
Allmost 30 years ago I was astonished by this nation-wide cover of litter, from reading the party programm things have to be done by by the Green's to save what is left.

Last week did have a talk with a farmer, were talking about the things which do enrich life and both agreed that a fresh plowed field was one of them.
The past 30 years a lot of people have forgotten the smell of earth, a morning, mowed gras .........

25 January, 2009 04:48  
Blogger Asher said...

you wanted to know who are the green movement who are running with Meimad?
I'll tell you who they're not.
They're not bad guys, and neither arew they Johnny come latelies.
That is from personal acquaintance with some of the figures in question.

Just a pity that Israel isn't ready for so many green parties, and I won't even mention "grenn leaf"

26 January, 2009 11:06  
Blogger Ben-Yehudah said...

But I don't understand why they didn't join forces.

26 January, 2009 11:13  
Blogger dp said...

The real environmental activists are in the Green Movement-Meimad: . As someone who was active in the Road 6 campaign, you should know that it was run by people like Eran Ben yemini (co-Chair of the party and no. 2 on the list) and Yael cohen-Paran (no. 8). I was also active there and have been an environmental activist for over ten years (from around the same time as you, for the same reasons) and can tell you that the real environmentalists are at the Green israel Movement (as well as Eran and Yael;, there's Prof. Alon Tal who established the Israel Union for environmental Defense - Adam Teva ve'din). Not to mention Malchi'or who is chair of the Environmental Caucus in Knesset and has been the most active MK on environmental issues over the last 10 years.
Any party can call itself whatever it wants, but it's worth voting for a party that has people with real achievements under their belts, that understand the issues and that know what needs to be done. (and is a DEMOCRATIC party, with representatives who have a positive record and no criminal associations - it's worth investigating the others).
I suggest you make your vote REALLY count and put ה in the ballot-box:


28 January, 2009 04:12  
Anonymous Daniel said...

Hi Asher and all,

I think if you compare the two parties Green Party and Green Movement-Meimad, you'll find that the list of accomplishments of the latter are far greater. True, the Green Party has been in politics for the last ten years (and never got elected at the national level) and true they have representatives at the municipal level (whose accomplishments are hit and miss). But just take a look at what Melchior has done in Knesset and what the rest of the Green Movement folks have done in civil society. Anyway - you could also take a lead from Shmuel Gelbhart and the Haifa Green Party who all broke off from the Green Party and joined the real deal - the Green Movement-Meimad. Compare for yourself -

28 January, 2009 05:52  
Blogger Asher said...

well, quite honestly, I wish I could find something bad to say about the candidates from the Green Movement-Meimad. The problem is that I can't after having been on several "actions" with Yael and Eran, and of course I am aware of the contribution of Alon Tal.
Despite that, for the Knesset, and for the fisrt time that they'll enter the Knesset, what we need are representatives who are all experienced in what it takes to be a politician as well as an activist.
That's a very establishment way of looking at things, but that's the way things work, sorry.

28 January, 2009 22:22  
Anonymous Daniel said...

Hi Asher,

Because every vote counts (in a very literal sense), permit me to put in a couple more words.

If you are looking for an environmental party with legislative experience, it is the Green Movement-Meimad. #1 on our list, Rabbi Michael Melchior, has over a decade of parliamentary experience, including heading the prestigious Knesset committee on education and the Knesset Social and Environmental lobby. He has about a dozen serious laws in the realm of education and environment to his credit. The Green Party candidates have absolutely no experience as parliamentarians. In addition, members of our list - Shmuel Chayen, Alon Tal, Ofer Kot, Iris Hann, Shmuel Brenner - have extensive experience in advising Knesset members and committees, in drafting legislation that then became law, and in representing the public in government committees. If you are truly considering your vote based on experience, I think The Green Movement-Meimad has the upper hand here as well.

What do you think?

All the best and Shabbat Shalom,


29 January, 2009 22:55  

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