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Monday, March 20, 2006

"This isn't an election, this is a coup"

By Amir Shaviv

An arbitrary accident of fate, perhaps, set the date of Israel's general elections shortly after Purim, and not too long before Passover. What an irony!! One could not have found a more symbolic junction on the Jewish calendar for these elections. Here is why:

The electioneering campaign of the Israeli political parties is 100% a Purin event: a carnival of nonsense, where each candidate portrays himself as Mordechai and his rivals- as Hamans. A bacchanalia of drunk accusations and rumors, innuendo and hearsay that escalate as the E-day comes close. Ideologies change their costumes in order to attract the public, and the noise of the political groggers is thundering and deafening.

The days after the elections, however, turn suddenly into a 100% Passover atmosphere. Exit the drunken festival, enter the sober mood. Time for a serious look at Israel's trouble, time for building a Moses-and-Aaron coalition-type leadership, to face the looming threat of the various
contemporary Pharaohs-- and to plan Exodus dimension operations in response. Time to clear away the chametz and be very serious.

Hence why election day is so perfectly situated this year on the Jewish calendar. By chance--or is it a Divine sense of humor?

Amir Shaviv is an executive in the Joint Distribution Committee and a
former journalist who covered a number of Israeli election campaigns.

The possibility that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.
– Abraham Lincoln


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