Thursday, December 15, 2005

Our Youth Do Not See Democracy


There was a time when we were excited and proud to be a part of the democratic process of elections. There was a time when we knew which party was which, and what the platform was for each candidate.

The out-going government today not only stole our heritage, destroyed flourishing communities and congregations, turned heroes into refugees, and our army, police and courts into collaborators in the form of political tools, but it has also caused our youth to not want to participate in the elections.

Our children, serving in elite units in the army, do not wish to be a part of the charade of elections. "It doesn't matter anyway," they say. "Look what happened with Sharon - he stole all your votes after he betrayed the very platform he was elected on. Why should we vote at all? What difference does it make when there is a decadent, corrupt government that is collaborating with the enemy and endangering all of us?"

Usually, I can find an argument with my children to convince them. This time, I find it hard to argue with them since they are right. These young citizens of our beloved land, who volunteer for the elite units in the army to serve our land and protect Jewish lives, feel betrayed.

To tell them that each of us has the right and responsibility to participate in the elections is a fallacy, since the parties have blurred their platforms so that it is hard, if not impossible, to point out a candidate who will actually serve the interests of the people of Israel.

The same slogans each election - "Only ____ Can" - are plastered all over the country. "Can what?" I ask myself. "Can deceive better"? "Can betray us and capitulate to the enemy"? "Can manipulate and steal and get away with it, because the courts and police are cooperating"?

Our children are born and grow up in a community where we are all actively involved in seeking responsibility. We have seen them actively involved in youth groups, volunteering for community responsibilities, training and volunteering for the most elite units in the Israeli army - with the feeling of patriotism and loyalty to the land.

We have seen them determined to be a part of the struggle for our beloved Gush Katif. They were not only there with us, but they fought to overcome every obstacle in their way in order to stand by our brothers and sisters in this nightmare of betrayal; a betrayal by leadership that was elected to protect the same communities it now bulldozed into oblivion and destruction.

We are all angry, frustrated and hurt that we are lied to and manipulated by a government that acts like a dictatorship, and mocks us using words like "democracy".

Our youth able to participate in this election have been given the once-thought-of-as-privilege to vote now, but feel that this is a useless charade; not only not a privilege, but an insult to each of us.

I still say that we must vote. We must convince these youths, who will be the future leaders (hopefully true leaders, unlike today) of our country, that they must be involved, must try to get the most honest and loyal party into the Knesset, in the hope that, in the future, Israel will have a government worthy of their votes and our trust.

It will take a long time to rebuild any trust in the elected officials who serve in the Knesset. It will take longer to actually see candidates who are worthy of our vote.

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