Waving the FlagMost of our members have belonged to the Hashomer Hatzair Youth Movement and haven't changed their basic political outlook, which is social-democratic on the whole. While you may find a few whose ideas about Arabs do not coincide with the party line, most members of Reshafim are strong supporters of the Oslo Accord and the peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, as the 1996 election results show: Shimon Peres received 98% of the votes cast at the kibbutz (a few non-members vote here as well, some known to be supporting right-wing parties.)
|The Settlements of the Beit Shean Regional Councel and the Results
of the 1996 Elections
The results of the 1999 elections
Feeling much better now, thank you very much
2001: Barak vs SharonAlas, it didn't work out. Hopes were too high. Barak made too many mistakes and Arafat was a major pain in the proverbial. But let's forget the national débâcle and concentrate on our little corner of paradise.
So, despite the general disappointment with Barak as a PM our kibbutz has remained true to its belief in the necessity of peace. But even among us there were more people than ever voting for a hawkish ideology, and less voters than ever turned up.
The attitude of kibbutzniks towards Sharon is much more ambivalent than towards any other right-winger. Firstly, he's one of 'ours'. He belongs to what is so quaintly called 'the working settlement' movement. In the army he generally led troops who came to a large extent from moshavim and kibbutzim. And secondly, as a minister he was consistently in favour of settlements, be they legal kibbutzim and moshavim inside Israel proper or dubious west bank settlements. He was a friend in right-wing governments openly hostile towards the kibbutzim.
Still, his vision is not ours. Let's hope he will justify his election slogan "Only Sharon will make peace", which caused us quite a few moments of mirth.
The 2003 electionsOK, so what if Sharon did not bring peace. Soon we'll have elections once a fortnight anyway - and not much to rejoice about. Arik Sharon, after a volte-face on practically any issue of importance (a Palestinian state, a fence between the occupied territories and Israel), a dismal economic performance and financial scandals has managed to to come out on top. One may well wonder how inept a right-wing government has to be in order to be voted out of power.
Even among us more and more people are giving up on left-wing socialist ideals and for the first time Labour has surpassed Meretz:
March 2006Ok, another round, not too bad after three years. Arik Sharon, a well-known opportunist, has caused havoc in the political scene. Even we felt the winds of change blowing:
February 2009Chronicling Israeli elections is a miserable business, if your heart is on the left side, as it is by nature. Reshafim is not immune to the the right-wing pandemic, spreading all over the globe. Here goes:
January 2013Rather a long time has passed since the last elections, and the country as a whole has moved a bit to the centre, not a bad idea given the performance of the right. It won't be enough for any real changes, but who knows.
Our little piece of paradise is also slowly moving towards the centre, politically speaking. 366 voters are registered here, 281 of whom (76.78%) have fulfilled their civic duty. Here you are:
March 2015Of course you know that ancient children's pasttime of tying a wallet to a string, placing it on the sidewalk and hiding oneself nearby holding the other end of the string. It was a bit like that, this time around. It looked as if the outcome might be different.
A yank at the string and it wasn't. And in the spirit of O God, give us the serenity to accept what cannot be changed, The courage to change what can be changed, and the wisdom to know the one from the other let's concentrate on what's our own doing: