Here is a news flash -- nothing is going to change after the Israeli elections in a few weeks. Spoiler alert: The right wing parties will stay in power, and the Israelis will show once again that they want peace, just not with Arabs.
But the show must go on, and as the election approaches numerous parties, new and old, all do their little song and dance, trying to gain some traction with the Israeli voters. Since no one really understands who's who in Israeli politics I devised a little mnemonic device to help anyone remember the parties. All you need to remember is which TV show represents which party and presto, you have all the information you need. Trust me, you will sound extremely knowledgeable at the next cocktail party.
Here is a very quick guide to Israeli politics that will make everything less confusing -- but not in the least bit less crazy.
Likud- Beitenu: A buy-one-get-the-other thing. One ballot for two parties fused together:
(1) Likud (literally "Unification") -- A right-of-center party which, based on current polls, is going to remain the ruling party. In a way, it's the Israeli version of the Republican Party. Representing an ignorant racist center, with a very thin crust of dignity and pretty words on top.
TV show: Honey Boo-Boo
(2) Israel Beitenu (literally "Israel is our Home") -- An extreme right wing party and the proud producer of Israel's version of Extreme Makeover: Gaza Edition. Well maybe not the whole show, but at least the first half where you take poor people from their house and tear it to the ground, although apparently taking them out of the house was optional.
Kadima (literally "Forward") -- currently the biggest party in parliament, and the leader of the opposition. This center party made so many mistakes over the past four years that almost all its members left it to other parties and from being the biggest party in parliament, it's now struggling to get a seat in the elections.
TV show: The Walking Dead
HaAvoda (literally "Labor") -- It's called the Israel's Labor party even though the only laborer you can find there is the cleaning lady, and she's going to vote for the Likud.
TV show: Lost
Yesh Atid (literally "There is A Future") -- a new party, headed by an Israeli journalist. He is sexy, he speaks nicely but never about controversial topics. So far the party is doing great in the polls. People are going to vote for him without ever actually seeing his platform or agenda.
TV show: The Voice
Hatnua (literally "The Movement") -- This party was established in such a rush that they couldn't even find a name. It's a central party, composed of leaders of other parties that lost in their primaries.
TV show: The Biggest Loser
Habait Hayehudi (literally "The Jewish Home") -- An extreme right wing party with a surprising ecological agenda. They are in favor of transferring all the Arabs out of the country -- but insist this will be done in hybrid trucks.
TV show: Wipe Out
Hadash (literally "New" and also an acronym for "The Democratic Front for Peace and Equality" but no one in Israel knows that) -- An extreme left wing party that supports the complete withdrawal of Israel from all occupied territories, and proposes sending a "So Sorry" card to all the Palestinians. Anything for a peace treaty.
TV show: Two and a half men (this is the amount of voters they have)
Shas (literally "Six Orders" -- it's a religious thing) -- An extremists conservative party representing ultra-orthodox Jews. Their agenda is to restore former glory, or in other words: return to biblical times and stone all the homosexuals.
TV show: The Flintstones
If you made it this far you have all the relevant information to brave the 2013 elections in Israel. Now all you need is an opinion, an Israeli ID and some extra time and cash to fly here and place your vote.
Next week I'll share with you my method to remembering the bones of contention between Israel and the Palestinians by linking them to songs by Justin Bieber.
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