Only Some Israelis Vote for Knesset 19

Today is Election Day in Israel for the 19th Knesset

and some are calling it a celebration of democracy.

photo Israeli election box

For a hi-tech country voting is decidedly low-tech,

photo Israeli election

with a cardboard ballot box and voting booth in a school classroom.

Israeli election photo

 Inside the booth, write-in votes are possible with a pen on white paper.

Israeli election photo

The nice workers in our polling place were happy to pose for a photo.

Israeli election photo

Across the hall the scene was similar,

Israeli election photo

and though the turnout is described as heavy,

the lines were short at midday.

BUT,

stairs photo

in order to get to the voting place you had to climb stairs, lots of stairs.

While I was trying to get a good angle to show a serious problem,

Israeli election photo

a friend who had moved to Haifa came up the stairs to vote.

However, for the disabled and many elderly in the neighborhood,

there was nothing to smile about.

Israeli election photo

Outside, to get in the building there were more stairs,

Israeli election photo

and for some getting down could be as hard as going up to vote.

Israeli election photo

As I left, this woman with two walking sticks tried to vote, 

 and I do not know how long it took her to do all those stairs.

The situation for access of the disabled and elderly  

is terrible in many of the old buildings in Jerusalem, Israel.

Jerusalem election day photo

One thing no one could complain about was the weather.

blocked sidewalks

Even though many sidewalks are still blocked by trees downed by the snow,

photo from Israeli election day

today was a day to get outside and enjoy the spring-like weather.

The temperatures certainly added to a party atmosphere, 

but access for disabled must become a priority.

I still think it is outrageous that someone in a wheel chair

has a hard time to vote in a democracy.

There are  locations for wheel chair access,

but isn’t it time to make public buildings accessible?

Israeli Election Top 10 Observations

With only hours to go until Israeli elections, many are still undecided,

but at least we now we are down to only 32 parties to select from.

With so many parties and candidates it is impossible to keep track,

so we decided to share just a few pre-election observations.

election sign Jerusalem photo

1. A “Bibi is a strong leader for Israel” poster is up in the spot

where Tzipi Livni was hanging just a couple of weeks ago.

Jerusalem photo campaign election

2. Bibi is good for the rich,

according to Shelly Yacimovich of Labor banners.

photo Zipi Hotovely

3. Zippi Hotovely is one of our favorite candidates,

she was often available to speak and so easy to photograph.

Jeremy Gimpel photo

4. In September, Jeremy Gimpel was campaigning for Anglo votes,

an old video comment got him roaring into the headlines this week.

photo Eli Yishai

5. Shas MK Eli Yishai took time out to meet with a group of AMIT

 supporters from US in his office even though they can not vote.

photo Chief rabbi Jerusalem photo

6. Chief rabbis are allowed to give brachot, blessings in person,

but a brachot ‘phone app’  before elections was ruled against the law.

election poster Jerusalem photo

7. A large banner for Naftali Bennent could be found in German Colony

Jerusalem photo, election poster

and a small green and blue sticker on this graffiti nose on Jaffa Street.

He is gaining popularity, but is he everyone’s brother as his ads read?

election sign Jerusalem picture

8. This is an old Moshe Feiglin sticker.

Interesting that he has kept a low profile this week.

election sign photo

9. So tomorrow is the time to decide which letters to put in the ballot box.

election sign Israel photo

Not going to bore you with all 32 letter combinations here,

I will leave that for someone else.

Predict what you want, but things can change quickly,

Avigdor Lieberman photo

just ask Avigdor Lieberman,

one day he was near the top and the next day out of the running.

Israeli election photo

In May, Dov Lipman was posing in the Knesset

with MK Amselem and heading Amselem Anglos group.

Today, Dov Lipman is running with Yair Lapid with Yesh Atid party.

And finally, 10. my favorite sign from this week,

sign Jerusalem Theater

a very clever ad for the Jerusalem Theater.

After the election noise quiets, it is time to subscribe for some culture.

At a recent class on Nevi’im, the Biblical prophets, our teacher mentioned,

a characteristic of a prophet is that victory is important over personal glory.

This election session personal egos seem to be a reason to run for office.

Let’s hope that after election day the winners and losers will indeed work

for the good of the people and the land of Israel.

Meanwhile, everyone also has to decide what to do tomorrow,

as Israeli election day is a day off from work.

Schizophrenic Snow Storm

It is two weeks before Israeli elections

Israeli election debate

and candidates are debating. But it seems the only thing

people are talking about in Jerusalem, Israel  

is the weather.

After all the rain of the last few days, snow was in the forecast.

Jerusalem schools were dismissed at noon.

storm in Jerusalem

The winds did blow and grey clouds covered the sky.

Jerusalem photo

But the weather cleared and skies were blue and the sun shone.

Jerusalem photo

Then for a few minutes some snow and sleet came down.

As the world was hearing of Jerusalem covered in snow,

Jerusalem photo

 there was a rainbow, but I could not get to my camera in time.

So if you see a photo of a rainbow over Jerusalem from today,

please let me know who the lucky person was.

But if you see Jerusalem, Israel covered in a blanket of snow…

that was NOT taken today, maybe tomorrow, but not today.

Today may have been a schizophrenic weather day,

but it was not a snowy day in Jerusalem.

Update: 

Around 9:00 pm, it did start to snow heavily,

but shortly later it was melting.

For a few photos see The Real Jerusalem Streets Facebook page.