Tag Archives: Israeli Elections

Election season underway

Tonight, 18 October, the Green Movement held its first activist meeting in Tel Aviv.  Check in at this site, join the Green Movement facebook site, or check in at the main party site to see how you can help.  More soon.

Yes, we can! The Green Movement-Meimad will pass the minimum threshold with your vote (ה), and those of some celebrity friends (see below)

Who is voting for the Green Movement – Meimad (תנועה הירוקה-מימד)?

Vote "ה" for התנועה הירוקה-מימד

Vote "ה" for התנועה הירוקה-מימד

According to a poll by “Ma’agar Mokhot”: 7% of Israelis will vote for the Green Movement-Meimad if they are confident the party will pass the minimum threshold.  This represents 8-9 seats in Knesset!  So don’t hesitate.  This will put Rabbi Michael Melchior, Eran Ben Yemini, Professor Alon Tal, Yonina Fallenberg, Iris Hahn, Dr. Hussein Tarabieh, Dr. Ariel Pikar and Yael Cohen-Paran (and maybe Leah Halperin)  into the next Knesset.

In mock elections at high schools across Israel, students found hope and vision in the Green Movement-Meimad:  7.1% from Ort High School in Holon; 5% from West Jezreel Valley High School; 21% (!) from Tschernokovski High School in Netanya; 4.4% from Mevo’ot Iron High School; 6% in Ostrovski High School in Raanana.

In mock elections at universities across Israel, students found a platform they can believe in with the Green Movement-Meimad: 12% and 16% (in two surveys) at Hebrew University; 4.2% at Ben Gurion University (5 mandates); 3.4% at Tel Aviv University; 2 mandates at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzlia.

An increasing number of public figures (aside from our extensive list of academic endorsements [in Hebrew] here) are expressing their support for the Green Movement-Meimad, including:

Kobi Oz (singer, author, composer), who writes his endorsement here (in Hebrew). My loose translation:  “I’m voting for the Green Movement-Meimad so there will be someone to protect this land and fight those who are destroying it.  Ya’ala – I’ll give them my vote and then they’ll pass the minimum threshold and go right to the center of activity – exactly where they belong”

Ehud Banai (singer and composer) – “I vote for the kind of values the Green Movement-Meimad represents.  It’s crucial that they are in the next Knesset.”

Riki Blich (actress and comedian) – “I know these people and I know they will represent public interests loyally and steadfastly in Knesset”

Natan Zach (Poet, Israel Prize Laureate) – according to this Friday’s Yediot Ahronot, disillusioned with all the political parties, but choosing between Green Movement-Meimad and an uninspiring Meretz.

Shai Avivi (Actor, Comedian, original member of HaChamisha HaKamrit) – “I know the people in the party – they are professionals, fighters (in the political sense), and serious.

Rino Tzror (Journalist) – “Only the Green Movement-Meimad is worthy of attention.”

Avri Gilad (Radio and TV host) – announced today on his popular radio program that he is voting Green Movement-Meimad.

Jackie Levy (Radio and TV host, and journalist) – “Vote for the Green Movement-Meimad as the only party that represents the connection between Judaism, society and ecology.  This is not a trend, but the result of a crucial process within Israel society.”

Tzur Shizaf (Journalist, author and nature guide) – “If someone needs to keep [Avigdor] Leiberman in check, the Green Movement/Meimad will be there; If someone needs to stop the runaway privatization of everything in our country, the Green Movement/Meimad will be there; If someone has to battle in favor of education, the Green Movement/Meimad will be there.”

Shlomo Bar (Musician, composer) – “The Green Movement-Meimad gives me hope for a society without sectoralism, without people with no content, without politicians.  We have enough generals who have complicated our lives here.  We need statesmen like Rabbi Melchior and not more wily politicians.

Haaretz journalist Ari Shavit calls the Green Movement-Meimad “the party to watch” during the elections.  His colleague at Haaretz, journalist Shachar Ilan writes – “Whoever votes for for the Green Movement-Meimad will be getting the best Knesset member for their vote.  Rabbi Michael Melchior was one of the best parliamentarians in the outgoing Knesset.”

Jerusalem deputy mayor Naomi Tzur and Jerusalem city council member Rachel Azaria took out a quarter page ad in Friday’s newspaper encouraging Israelis to vote Green Movement-Meimad.

On line bloggers are enthusiastically endorsing the Green Movement-Meimad.  According to a poll of influencial Hebrew blogs, 37% endorsed the Green Movement-Meimad.  Similarly, an increasing number of English language blogs in Israel and among Jews abroad are endorsing the party:

Haim Watzman at Southjerusalem.com.

Yannai Kranzler at the Jewish Climate Initiative.

Anna at Daily Dose of Anna.

Rebecca at The Big Felafel.

Professor Gil Troy at Jerusalem Post Blogs.

David at Israel21C Blogs and Brian Blum at Israel21C Blogs.

Josh Weinberg at the Houmous Fool.

RickyB at The Church of Here and Now (Salon.com blogs)

Benji Lovitt at What War Zone?

And don’t forget the more than 30 party supporters who sent in their reasons for supporting the Green Movement-Meimad (see previous post below).  And see the reputable Green Prophet blog for their comprehensive review of all of the parties’ environmental platforms here.  And finally, for Hebrew readers, read an interview with Green Movement-Meimad candidate  Samuel Chayen in last Friday’s Makor Rishon here (downloads a PDF of the interview).

This Tuesday vote for education, environment, social democracy.  Vote ‘for’ rather than ‘against’.  Vote for what Israel could be!

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More eloquent Green-Meimad support from all corners of the blogosphere

More bloggers have posted their intention to vote for the Green Movement-Meimad in the elections next week.

The off-beat endorsement of the week comes from former Green-Leaf supporter, writer/editor RickyB.  In his post – a quick and ecclectic tour of today’s political scene – the author reveals his pick for the Knesset towards the end of his entry:

In the… green corner, we have the Green Movement-Meimad, which offers the top two environmental activists in the country in addition to the greenest MK in the last decade. Guess which one I’m voting for? The Meimad part comes from MK Rabbi Michael Malchior – an orthodox rabbi committed to separation of state and religion who is also head of the environmental lobby (what y’all call a caucus) in Knesset and is a bona fide green, socially progressive legislator. I dig that kind of synergy. I just hope enough of my brethren do as well.

Having attended the AACI/Jerusalem Post sponsored election panel in Jerusalem, Anna – a self-described Halachically-inclined feminist writes about her realization that the Green Movement-Meimad is for her:

What I learned about myself tonight is that I would much rather vote for a party that has lofty goals that understands a basic principle of morality and reality than crazy people who at best work only under an assumption of fear and hatred and at worst under the worst form of nationalism that claims to have Israel’s best interests at heart but in reality is well, totally blind to reality and morality…

… It was upsetting to me to hear politicians call for the subjugation of Arabs and the end to the idea of a two-state solution, in no equivocal terms…

… And so I’ll be voting for HaTnuah HaYeruka-Meimad on election day, the only party that seems to hold the same values as I do–education and electoral reform, the environment, and a reasoned and realistic approach towards a two-state solution. It is the only party I can vote for in good conscience.

Journalist, writer and guide Tsur Shizaf throws his support behind the party on his [Hebrew] blog here.  I won’t attempt to translate his prose and biblical references, but I’ll paraphrase – ‘If peace breaks out, the Green Movement/Meimad will be in favor; if someone needs to keep [Avigdor] Leiberman in check, the Green Movement/Meimad will be there; If someone needs to stop the runaway privatization of everything in our country, the Green Movement/Meimad will be there; If someone has to battle in favor of education, the Green Movement/Meimad will be there.

Indeed.

Moving on up – the Green Movement-Meimad passing the threshold to the next Knesset!

Every vote counts!

Every vote counts! (Montage by Green Movement member Maya Shalit and her cat.)

Increasingly promising signs that the Green Movement-Meimad will pass the threshold and then some in the elections.  Mock elections held at Tel Aviv and Hebrew University had the Green Movement-Meimad easily passing the threshold.  (The threshold is the minimum amount of votes needed to assure a seat in the next parliament.)  At Hebrew University, more than 1000 students voted and the Green Movement-Meimad took third place, gaining 16 mandates.  At Tel Aviv University, with more than 2500 students voting, we took 4 mandates.  But the best mock election results come in from Tchernokovski High School in Netanya, whose students – after hearing representatives of each of the parties speak – gave 21% of the vote to the Green Movement-Meimad.  This was, according to press coverage, the big surprise of the school election.  Green Movement-Meimad activists continue campaigning throughout the country to make sure this becomes the big surprise of the national election!

At a Jerusalem parlour meeting

The Green Movement/Meimad held a parlour meeting last night in Jerusalem’s Baka neighbourhood, and this green reporter was there to gauge the temperature of the audience. First up, speaking to a crowded room, Alon Tal gave a rousing oration suggesting Israeli society had lost its way. “We in this new party recognise it’s time to take the issues seriously,” Tal said. “There are 3 crises going on concomitantly here – environmental, social and political. There is a crisis within Israeli democracy – society is turned off. We need to make a seismic shift in the priorities of Israeli society!” Professor Tal continued in this vein, peppering his speech with facts about the poor state of the environment here, including a bleak list of specific sites around the country that are experiencing an “ecological disaster”, as he described it. He made several references to the issue of air pollution, and later on made a commitment on behalf of the party that if they get into the coalition following the upcoming elections (baruch hashem!) they will insist on a 15% reduction in air pollution across the country.

Gershon Baskin, also on the party list and well known locally and Internationally for his efforts to promote peace through the NGO IPCRI, followed Alon with an equally passionate evocation of a more compassionate society here in Israel, a society “that is engaged and active”. “How come we pollute this land so much?” he spoke from the heart, going on to tell of driving north on road 6 this week, and discovering that every wadi/river valley passed on the journey stank from the acrid odour of pollution.

Later in the evening, these 2 dynamic speakers were followed by Yerushalmim party leader and new member of the Jerusalem city council Rachel Azaria, who noted that she had given a talk in this very house before the municipal elections, and had come from nowhere in the polls to gaining 8% of the vote and a seat in Nir Barkat’s council. She urged us to get behind Tal and Baskin and the other fine candidates from Green Movement-Meimad, and get them into the Knesset, and for each and every citizen to rise from frustration and get into the political world to make some change, as she has.

But it was the effect upon the Anglo audience that I wanted to gauge, and from the depth and breath of the questions, I could tell how aware and switched on to the social and political machinations of society this audience were. “Why do we need several green parties?” asked Alexandra Benjamin, an educator, originally from Britain. “Can you succeed on a bigger scale? What is your appeal to the common weal?” was another articulate question. “What is your approach to the crisis of education here?” asked one concerned teacher. “Can an Israeli green party make good links with international green parties that seem to be anti-Israel?”, “How would you make sustainable energy affordable?”, and “What’s your position on the recent war in Gaza?” were other questions from the audience. Tal and Baskin dealt with them one by one, providing detailed responses where necessary – particularly on the issues of renewable energy, and education (both candidates having considerable experience in education). Tal took pains to say that the party had supported the offensive against Gaza, and that the questioner might not fully agree with their position. Both speakers made light of our entrenched Anglo political positions of being on either the left, or the right, and that this new party can and does appeal across the board – with the potential to pull in Likudniks and supporters of the other, ailing green party.

From what I saw and felt around me, Tal and Baskin have the energy, dynamism and experience to engage an audience, and the integrity to put forward radical new proposals for a green and engaged society. It is up to this community, our friends and neighbours, Jews and non-Jews alike, to engage in these crucial issues that effect us on every level – political, social, environmental – and get behind a new party that can effect the change this country needs so much. Personally speaking, it’s exciting to be in at the birth of something new….I urge every reader to get involved in whatever way they feel moved to.

As the Knesset election campaign goes into the final stretch…

Three postings of interest as the campaign for Knesset #18 goes into its final two weeks:

1) The Jerusalem Post spotlights the Green Movement-Meimad with coverage of the campaign kickoff event two weeks ago:

“Change starts here,” No. 2 Eran Ben-Yemini declared, “But actually it began 10 to 15 years ago, when we established many of the biggest environmental organizations in Israel.”

Ben-Yemini founded Green Course, while fellow party member Prof. Alon Tal founded The Israel Union for Environmental Defense and the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies.

“When we started out, nobody even knew what ‘the environment’ was. Now we’ve turned it into one of the biggest items on the national agenda,” Ben-Yemini told the crowd.

Meimad head and No. 1 on the combined list Rabbi Michael Melchior stressed the need to prevent security from dominating all other issues.

“We cannot let the older parties use the security issue, no matter how important it is, to once again bury education, environment and social issues.

“When all of the other Knesset members race towards seats on the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, the least important committee in the Knesset, we will be running towards the education, social affairs, finance and environment committees,” he thundered.

For the full article, click here.

2) In the Hebrew press, YNET exposes the author of a rogue website, which was trying to masquerade as the homepage of the Israel Green Movement last summer.  The site attempted to portray the Green Movement in an extremist light.  And who was behind the site?  Meital Revino, who just happens to be running for Knesset on the Green Party list (#20).  Note that this blog did its best NOT to engage in badmouthing the Green Party, but I thank YNET and journalist Ehud Kenan for exposing this. For Hebrew readers, the article is here. On our “About” page in the comments section on the bottom, I try to define the differences between the Green Movement-Meimad and the Green Party.

3) Finally, the television campaign began today.  Below is the Green Movement-Meimad’s first commercial – clearly aimed at helping the voters distinguish between the environmental party (us) and the faux greens (them).  Enjoy!


Come hear the Green-Meimad Knesset Candidates at Jerusalem Post/AACI sponsored panels for English speakers

English Language Election Forums

English Language Election Forums

English speakers in Israel!  Come hear how the candidates compare at one of five panel discussions with Knesset candidates.  In Ra’anana (including Green Movement-Meimad’s Dr. Gershon Baskin), in Netanya (with our own Professor Noah Efron), in Jerusalem (with party chairman Rabbi Michael Melchior), in Tel Aviv (with #3 on our list, Professor Alon Tal) and in Haifa (also with Professor Tal).  Come hear why, when all the parties are sitting side by side, the Green Movement-Meimad offers the greatest hope and vision for the future of Israel.