No Room for a Defeatist Mindset!
Ma’ariv, Israel, November 3
That’s it, the election results were formally announced, and Netanyahu’s bloc secured an undisputed majority in parliament. I admit that I was among those sitting on the sofa at 10 pm, watching the results of the exit polls and having trouble believing my eyes. It doesn’t matter where I, or any of us, stand on the political spectrum. The results were a result of a democratic process that sent a clear message: Out with the current Jewish-Arab “change bloc” government and in with a new conservative, nationalist, and religious one. After counting all the votes, even Meretz was booted out of the Knesset, for the first time since its establishment over 30 years ago. Immediately after the results were announced, quite a few of my friends joked about applying for foreign passports. You know the trope, something along the lines of “Let’s pack up and leave the country” or “Let’s check the validity of our foreign passports.” More than I was worried about these silly ideas, I was worried about what would happen to my generation, the generation of globalization for whom the world was no longer so big and intimidating. I was born 27 years ago, almost a week after the assassination of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. I grew up on the stories of a deep rift that left Israel divided and ailing, with the feeling that there was nothing more for us to do here. Back to the present day. I understand the shock some are experiencing in the aftermath of these elections. Being shocked is OK. But we should never – ever – allow our shock to curb our hope for a better future. The State of Israel, soon entering its 75th year of independence, will remain a modern and developed country. And we will continue fighting for it to be one. The pride parades will not be canceled; we will continue to advocate for and promote equality for all, and biblical laws will not replace our judicial system. If necessary, we will fight for these principles with all our might. The Jewish-Arab change bloc government has indeed been pushed out, but it is still in the Knesset, representing its voters. If you, like me, encountered expressions of despair and hopelessness this week, then I urge you to fight them back. The State of Israel is pretty much the only thing we, Israelis, have in a world where antisemitism is on the rise. Our list of enemies is certainly not short. So leave your passports in the drawer. If you need some fresh air, take a vacation. But let’s part ways with this defeatist mentality and horror stories about the future. Our future is bright because we will fight for it to be so. –Michal Kadosh (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)