a different side of Israel

The Left, the Right and the Undecided – Election Time in Israel

Post and Photos By Niv Calderon

Elections in Israel - Photo by Niv Calderon
A common conversation these election days is apathy. Many people are saying they are not going to practice their democratic right to vote. Why? Many reasons.

Some say they no longer care and that “every one” is the same crap. Some say it’s the corruption and that they don’t believe anyone anymore, and some say their vote wouldn’t make a difference anyway.
These are all examples of known reasons already spoken out in the media. I wish to add a more, let’s say, “sociological” explanation.

1992 was the last ”normal”, once-every-four-years election. Since then, Rabin was murdered in 1995, Peres lost to Netanyahu in the early elections of 1996 when buses started exploding in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu was Kicked out in 1999 by Barak who too was kicked out two years later in 2001 by Sharon who was reelected again in 2003.
The right wing dominion in Israel starting from the late 70’s through the 80’s with a short break in the 90’s shows us that there are more Rights in Israel than Lefts. Makes sense? Maybe? I think differently.
To start at the end, I think we are dealing here with a vicious circle. I don’t think there are more people on the right then the left. I think the numbers are about even, maybe more leftists but less left voters are coming to vote. So why is it vicious you ask, and why a circle? There’s a simple answer to that.

Israel 2006 Elections
The less leftists voted – the less left power there is. The less left power – the less difference they can make. The less difference they make – the more left voters will not vote. A vicious circle.

And then comes someone like Ariel Sharon. Suddenly at the age of 70 something he realizes he was wrong, takes the 2003 Avoda/Meretz agenda (primarily Amram Mitzna’s), of disengagement from Gaza and makes it happen. At an instant he takes the core ideology from the Left wing, “centralizes” it, declares ownership and a new political movement is born, a “new-age” center movement.

From that point on in history, with the dilemmas we face daily, when we are finally wiling to deal with and take responsibility of our civil and social status and worry not only about our lives and the terror we are so tired of, from that point on, the center (unless it dissolves and breaks right again) will include the Left. It represents a new stage in the evolution of the Israeli democracy, a new state of mind.


  1. This analysis lacks a little big detail: the Left had previously adopted the Right values after conquer the Territories in the 1967 war. Even at the Hashomer Hatsair movement many youngsters (like myself in Argentina) were cast expelled for questioning the new profits earned by the kibbutzim from the new colonial situation.

  2. those are great pictures.
    it was a good idea to take your camera to the calpy.

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