There aren’t many clichés in Israel more associated with elections than ‘a celebration of democracy’. I’m not denying that there is something exciting about elections. But rather than a moment where everyone (or, 67.78% of us) participates in collectively shaping our society, this rush, I realize, stems from elections nowadays becoming ever closer to a reality TV game show.
So, no SMS yet, but eventually people do vote for a candidate, not a party. This is certainly the case for Likud Israel Beiteinu (headed by Benjamin Netanyahu), Hatnuah (headed by Tzipi Livni) among others, and is also the context in which the achievement of Yesh Atid, or rather the former TV anchorman and popular columnist Yair Lapid leading it, should be understood.
And, perhaps more disturbing is the realization that this is no accident. This is exactly how the dominant political powers in Israel want voters to see it. And in that sense they have succeeded remarkably.