Guest Post by Israel Future*
|Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid and party member, Dov Lipman|
The following was sent to me by an observant Jew in Israel. I mention that only because of the anomaly of religious Jews voting for a political party that many consider to be anti Torah. It is a plea to vote Yesh Atid and an explanation as to why. He asked that I not use his real name. I agreed. His message is timely and straight from the heart. As always opinions expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect my own. His words follow:
Complaining about how messed up things are here in Israel is a feature of life. Nothing works, it’s all a mess. Problems don’t get solved. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
If I'm going to vote for a party, then I want that party that will make things better in this country – and for too long things haven't gotten any better. Problems have festered. Issues have not been tackled. For too long, politicians have avoided tackling the economy, education, healthcare, issues of religion and state, the financial challenges faced by those who work, serve and pay taxes.
I want to vote for a party that says "Enough! It's time to start fixing problems. It's not acceptable that our leaders avoid problems. It's not acceptable that year after year living here becomes more difficult because the traditional political parties don't have any ideas, don't have any solutions and won't do the hard work needed to fix the problems that we deal with on a daily basis.” Why? Because things can be fixed. And they can be tackled. And in the last 18 months, Yesh Atid has proven this to be the case.
Yesh Atid is the only party who is offering a better future for the country. Whilst the other parties squabble over petty grievances, Yesh Atid turns to us and says:
*We can’t let the duties and obligations to the State be carried out only by some of the population. We are all one country. We all have to share equally in the responsibilities. We need more equality in the draft, in the work-place and in tax-paying;
*We can't just endlessly milk the Israeli tax-payers for more money. We have to collect money and spend money responsibly and carefully. We have to close loop-holes, stop government waste and not spend more than we can afford just to keep our coalition intact. We have to be financially responsible;
· *We can't disproportionately give money to Haredi yeshivot and to settlements. We have to make sure that our tax-money is collected and spent for the benefit of ALL citizens of Israel and in particular we have to help those who are most needy – the poor and Holocaust Survivors in particular;
*We can't let standards in education fall any more. We have to make sure that school education prepares children for a productive role in the work-force and that it offers options and opportunities. We can't just ignore the failings of school education anymore;
· *We can't allow Haredim to drift increasingly into poverty and alienation from the State of Israel. We have for too long handed out payments in return for votes, but the results have been catastrophic. Haredim live in dire poverty and resentment and Labor, Likud and Haredi politicians have let the problem fester for years and the result is a generation of poor Haredim;
*We can't allow people to wait for so long to get to see a doctor. We have to provide more healthcare services particularly in the periphery where so much more needs to be done;
· *As a dati Israeli, I know that we can’t allow issues of Religion and State to tear the Jewish people apart anymore by enforcing it on those who don’t share our outlook. We have to create genuine dialogue between religious and secular Jews so that Judaism is part of the private and public life of all here in Israel;
*We can't continue to turn a blind eye to the daily revelations of corruption in public life. We have to impose standards and regulations so we can start to trust the institutions of the State again.
For too long we have only paid attention to issues of 'Right vs Left'. For too long, Likud and Labor have promised us 'peace' or 'security' and under that blanket, they have spent our tax-money irresponsibly they have failed for years and years and years to improve the lot of the citizens of the State of Israel. Likud left us with a 40 billion NIS deficit. Labor just promises everything for free. And with regards to our long-term security, neither party is pragmatic. Labor is sure that a territorial compromise is the only way to go. Likud is sure that it will lead to disaster. Both are pipe-dreams and both ignore reality. I want to vote for a party that will be pragmatic – that will make a sensible, careful deal if it is viable, but isn't committed to giving away land regardless of the outcome. There's only one pragmatic party out there – Yesh Atid.
And that's why I am asking you to vote for Yesh Atid. The Yesh Atid MKs are fighting for our country. They are working hard to make our lives better. And isn't that the best reason that you should vote for one party over another?
And here's the thing… Yesh Atid has already done so much already. Read Dov Lipman's series on ‘What Yesh Atid has done for you lately’ in the Times of Israel: http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/author/dov-lipman/
More can be done. Things can be better here. If you vote for Yesh Atid, then together we will be making life in Israel better. Please vote, as I will, for Yesh Atid.
*Not his real name