Wednesday, November 12, 2008
"Democracy in Action" - at least that's what it looked like in the Rehavia neighborhood of Jerusalem, where I exercised my civic duty by casting my first-ever ballot as an Israeli Citizen. The Jerusalem Mayoral race has been far more pressing than the recent US Presidential Elections, and, sticking with that analogy, it looks like my boy Nir Barkat will in fact be the next Mayor of the Holy City. Nir is a successful businessman who understands running the municipality of the world's most important city is no job for criminals or saints...just a "ben-oni" with a brain, some common sense and the wherewithal to get the job done. I loved the voting experience itself, which was preceeded by campaigners lining the street leading up to the school where the polling place was located - something that is actually illegal in the U.S. Once inside I was welcomed into a little room (pictured) where I was scrutinized by a nice mix of secular and religious poll workers, who gave me my ballot envelopes and sent me behind the secret "Voting Modesty Curtain" (pictured) where I put the pieces of paper into the colored envelopes (white into white, yellow into yellow). Can I just say Thank G_d I can read enough Hebrew to know for whom I am voting!!! Actually quite a satisfying experience.